(LibertySociety.com) – The avian bird flu has struck once again in Minnesota, with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcing that nearly one million chickens will be slaughtered. The virus is highly contagious, and the only way to contain it is to kill all chickens at farms where its presence has been confirmed. The outbreak began in 2022 and resulted in the slaughtering of around 58 million chickens and turkeys. The Wright County farm where the virus was discovered is an egg-laying farm, which houses far more chickens than other types of chicken farms. So far this year, only 3.4 million birds have had to be killed.
The USDA also said that close to 27,000 turkeys will be slaughtered at a McPherson County, South Dakota farm after confirming the presence of the virus. Two separate farms in Clay County, Iowa, will also kill around 17,000 birds. While inflation affected egg prices last year, the outbreak of the avian flu was also a major contributing factor. Prices have cooled so far this year and are likely to remain stable despite the recent outbreak. Since 2022, farmers have been working to limit interaction with migrating ducks and geese, as they can spread the virus across large areas. Another outbreak of the virus in Minnesota resulted in the slaughtering of five million birds, but Iowa has fared the worst. Over 16 million birds have been slaughtered in the Hawkeye State since 2022.
Farmers have increased sanitation standards since the outbreak began, with workers required to don fresh clothes and decontaminate their boots before entering farms. Tools are no longer shared between barns, and preventative measures have been taken to prevent wildlife from coming into contact with the farms’ birds. Humans are at a very low risk of contracting the virus, but officials stress the importance of cooking poultry to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before consumption. However, farm workers who are exposed to the virus for long periods of time could contract the virus.
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