An additional 1.2 million chickens will be culled after bird flu was confirmed at an Iowa egg farm, the second mass case this week.
An additional 1.2 million chickens will be culled to prevent the spread of bird flu after the virus was confirmed at an Iowa egg farm in the second mass case this week.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced the latest bird flu infection on a Taylor County farm Friday, and the Iowa governor immediately declared a disaster to ensure that the State has the necessary resources to react quickly.
The Iowa case is just the latest in an outbreak that began early last year and has prompted officials to kill a total of nearly 63 million birds. Earlier this week, 1 million chickens were killed at a Minnesota egg farm. But the vast majority of cases, nearly 58 million birds, occurred last year.
Every time a case of bird flu is detected, the entire flock is killed to prevent the highly contagious virus from spreading to another farm.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has detected fewer wild birds carrying the virus this year, suggesting some ducks and geese may be developing immunity. Farmers have also worked hard to keep the virus off their farms, and the government has tried to respond quickly whenever bird flu is detected.
Iowa remains the hardest-hit state in the country, with more than 17 million birds killed since the outbreak began. The state is the nation’s top producer of eggs, and egg farms tend to have the most birds. Last year, 5 million chickens were slaughtered on one Iowa egg farm alone.
Nebraska is next with more than 6.7 million birds killed, followed by Colorado’s 6.26 million and Minnesota’s 5.6 million.
Most of the recent cases this fall have been found in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa, along one of the main migratory routes used by ducks and geese as they fly south for flight. ‘winter. The virus spreads easily through the droppings of wild birds that can be tracked onto farms, and an increase in cases is expected since the start of fall migration.
Poultry and egg producers are trying to prevent the virus from reaching their farms by requiring workers to shower and change clothes before entering barns. Trucks are also sanitized before entering the farm, and separate sets of tools are kept for each barn.
Last year’s losses contributed to rising prices for eggs and poultry, but those prices have fallen significantly this year.