Practically 1 million chickens on a Minnesota egg farm might be slaughtered to assist restrict the unfold of the extremely contagious fowl flu after it was confirmed there, officers mentioned Monday.
The U.S. Division of Agriculture introduced that the virus was discovered at a farm in Wright County, Minnesota, in addition to in three smaller flocks in South Dakota and Iowa. Each time the extremely pathogenic avian influenza virus is detected on a farm, the complete flock is killed as to maintain it from spreading to different farms.
Along with the Minnesota case, the USDA mentioned some 26,800 turkeys might be killed on a farm in McPherson County in South Dakota and almost 17,000 birds might be slaughtered on two farms in Iowa’s Clay County.
The egg and poultry trade has been coping with a fowl flu outbreak since final 12 months. In 2022, almost 58 million birds – largely hen and turkeys – had been slaughtered to take care of the virus, contributing considerably greater egg and turkey costs. The Minnesota farm is the primary egg-laying operation the place fowl flu has been discovered this 12 months.
The toll total has been a lot decrease in 2023 than in 2022 because the variety of circumstances present in wild birds plummeted and farmers redoubled their efforts to forestall any contact between their birds and the geese and geese migrating previous their farms. Even after 940,000 chickens on the Minnesota farm are slaughtered, there’ll solely have been about 3.4 million birds killed this 12 months.
Minnesota has now misplaced a complete of greater than 5.5 million birds for the reason that outbreak started. Iowa, which is house to many huge egg farms, has been the toughest hit with greater than 16 million birds slaughtered, together with one case the place 5 million egg-laying chickens needed to be killed. Egg farms just like the one in Minnesota are inclined to have essentially the most birds on anybody farm. Turkey and hen operations normally contain fewer birds.
There have been a variety of circumstances reported over the previous month, largely at turkey farms in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa, as wild birds started emigrate south for the winter. However the virus might be discovered on any farm as a result of it’s unfold simply, primarily by means of the droppings of untamed birds or direct contact with them.
Egg and poultry farmers take steps like requiring their employees to vary garments and sanitize their boots earlier than stepping inside their barns, limiting the sharing of instruments between barns, and sealing up their services to forestall wildlife from getting inside.
Officers stress that fowl flu isn`t a risk to meals security as a result of all of the birds on a farm the place the illness is discovered are slaughtered earlier than they attain the meals provide, and correctly cooking poultry and eggs to 165 levels Fahrenheit (73. 89 levels Celsius) will kill any viruses. Infections in people are uncommon and normally come solely in individuals with extended publicity to sick birds.
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