Bird Flu Forces Iowa Farm To Cull More Than 5 Million Chickens

by Victoria Santiago
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A case of bird flu was found at an Iowa chicken farm, forcing them to kill more than 5 million chickens. The egg-laying farm is located in Buena Vista County, which is about 160 miles northwest of Des Moines, Iowa. This is the second case of bird flu in the county. The earlier case was at a farm that had around 50,000 turkeys.

At a Glance

  • The highly-contagious bird flu has made its way through at least eight states.
  • An egg-laying farm in Iowa will have to kill 5 million chickens due to the virus.
  • The CDC says that these cases shouldn’t worry people.
  • It is still safe to eat poultry products.

Iowa Chicken Farm Is the Latest To Cull Due to Bird Flu

Despite best efforts, the bird flu has been spreading rapidly throughout the US. The virus has been impacting birds in Europe and Asia for almost a year. Now, it’s made its way over here.

Infected wild birds have been found in at least 24 states. Almost 12.6 million chickens and turkeys in at least eight states have already been killed or will be soon. The confirmation of the bird flu at this Iowa egg-laying farm is just the latest. The farm is home to 5.3 million chickens, and the majority of them will be culled.

The first case in Iowa was identified on March 1 in a backyard flock of 42 ducks and geese in Pottawattamie County. Then, on March 10 another egg-laying chicken farm reported the virus in Taylor County. This southwestern Iowa farm was home to nearly 916,000 birds.

This spread through Iowa is especially devastating, as the state has the most egg-laying hens in the entire country.

Poultry Is Still Safe To Eat

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that these bird flu cases aren’t an immediate public health concern. At this present time, ABC News reports that there are no human cases of bird flu in the US.

It’s still safe to eat poultry products. Many farms are culling their flocks to prevent any further spread of the virus. Cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 F will kill any bacteria and viruses that may linger.

Scientists Are Trying To Stop the Spread

Scientists don’t know how to stop the spread of bird flu in the US. They’re trying, though.

The bird flu has spread throughout the country rather quickly, especially considering how strict the protocols for the virus are. The USDA sets rigid rules for dealing with the bird flu and any other viruses. If farmers find infected birds, they have to kill and bury them within 24 hours.

Despite fast culling turnaround times, the virus is still spreading. Scientists aren’t sure how the virus is getting into farms. There are theories that the virus is traveling in with employees, mice, small birds, or even dust particles.

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