Iowa egg farm forced to euthanize 4.2 million chickens due to bird flu outbreak

More than 4 million chickens in Iowa will unfortunately need to be euthanized following the discovery of a highly pathogenic bird flu case at a major egg farm, as announced by the state on Tuesday.

A farm in Sioux County, Iowa, has discovered the presence of the disease, leading to the necessary eradication of 4.2 million chickens. This incident adds to the ongoing outbreak that has been affecting not only poultry but also dairy cattle. The virus was recently confirmed at an egg farm in western Minneapolis, Minnesota, resulting in the culling of approximately 1.4 million chickens.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a staggering 92.34 million birds have lost their lives since the outbreak commenced in 2022.

Bird flu has become increasingly prevalent in poultry, but its transmission to cattle has raised concerns about the disease. In May, another dairy farm employee was diagnosed with bird flu, and the virus was found in both beef and milk samples. This has led to confirmed cases of bird flu on dairy cattle farms in nine different states.

Health and agriculture officials have emphasized that the public’s risk remains low. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the meat from a single dairy cow that was found to be sick was promptly prevented from entering the nation’s food supply. Therefore, it is important to note that beef remains safe for consumption.

Workers who come into contact with infected animals face an increased risk. In the United States, there have been only three confirmed human cases, all of which involved individuals working closely with animals. Among them were two dairy workers and one man who was involved in the slaughter of infected birds on a poultry farm.

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MBS Staff
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