4.2 Million Chickens Killed

(DailyEmailNews.com) – In an alarming development, a highly contagious and deadly form of avian influenza has been identified in a massive flock of 4.2 million egg-laying chickens in Sioux County, Iowa.

This development marks the state’s first confirmed case in commercial or backyard poultry this year.

According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), entire flocks are euthanized and their remains securely isolated to halt the virus’ spread.

This outbreak, which has persisted since early 2022, is largely attributed to migrating wild birds that carry the virus without showing symptoms.

Recent reports indicate that Minnesota is the only one in Iowa’s neighboring states to report similar cases within the past month.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that Minnesota saw five new cases two weeks ago, involving approximately 1.5 million birds across four commercial turkey farms and one commercial egg-laying operation.

While Minnesota has experienced a higher frequency of flock infections, Iowa, the leading egg-producing state, has seen a larger number of birds impacted.

Since the outbreak’s onset, over 23 million birds across 52 flocks have been culled in Iowa.

The affected flock in Sioux County is the third-largest in the state during this period, with two other flocks in Buena Vista and Osceola counties each exceeding 5 million birds.

IDALS is advising poultry and dairy farms to implement better biosecurity measures to prevent further outbreaks.

Additionally, the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention has detected the virus in sick dairy cattle across nine states, including four herds in South Dakota, although none in Iowa yet.

The initial cattle infections were identified in Texas in March. While cows generally recover from the infection within 10 to 14 days, the virus is typically fatal for poultry.

Federal authorities assure that eggs and milk found in the commercial food supply remain safe for consumption, though they warn against consuming unpasteurized cow milk.

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