The government will stamp out bird flu through aggressive culling of infected flocks and is unlikely to turn to vaccines as a tool against the disease, said Agriculture Undersecretary Jenny Moffitt on Tuesday. Moffitt told lawmakers the USDA has devoted $1.3 billion to quell a 14-month-old outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza and to keep African swine fever out of the country.
Four of every 10 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) this year have been on a turkey farm, with Minnesota and South Dakota hit the most frequently, USDA data showed on Tuesday. The USDA confirmed HPAI on seven additional farms holding 337,348 turkeys, lifting the U.S. total to just under 25 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, since the viral disease appeared among domestic flocks in early February.
Americans will not run out of eggs in the ongoing outbreak of bird flu, the worst since 2015, says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Four percent of the U.S. layer flock has died in the two months since the first confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on Feb. 8.
A turkey farm in southern Indiana is the site of the first known case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the United States since 2020, said the USDA on Wednesday. The 29,000-bird flock in Dubois County was being killed to prevent spread of the virus.
Prices for common elements of the U.S. diet, from poultry and dairy to fruits and vegetables, are rising at double or triple their usual rate, said the government in forecasting the highest annual food inflation rate in 14 years. The Agriculture Department said food prices would rise an average of 5 percent this year, an abrupt two-point increase from its forecast a month ago.
After tests suggested bird flu in a poultry flock in northern Alabama, the poultry breeding company Aviagen culled the flock and removed from its production line eggs that originated from the farm, says Reuters. The flock was one of three potential outbreaks of bird flu and followed discoveries across the state line in Tennessee a week earlier.
The Alabama state veterinarian issued a "stop movement" order affecting poultry because of three suspected cases of bird flu in northern counties that border Tennessee, said the state Department of Agriculture and Industries. The incidents follow the confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza on a broiler-breeder farm in southern Tennessee last week.
The enormous numbers of animals concentrated in industrial pig farms are changing the pattern of flu seasons, by providing flu viruses a place to jump between humans and animals and multiply faster than they otherwise would, according to new research from North Carolina — a state that is second only to Iowa in pig production.
A mallard duck captured near Fairbanks, Alaska, and tested as part of a surveillance program was infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, said USDA. It was the first confirmation of bird flu in the United States since June 2015, at the end of the worst bird flu epidemic to strike U.S. poultry flocks.
The centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal, a roasted turkey, will cost about 6 percent more than a year ago, the result of the avian influenza epidemic that swept turkey and poultry farms in the Midwest last spring.
Avian influenza, which killed nearly 50 million chickens and turkeys in the United States earlier this year, “can now erupt in many areas across the globe” since the virus is spread by migratory waterfowl, says Ceva, a French drug maker, in arguing for inoculation against the disease. The virus …
Fast-food giant McDonald's, which buys two billion eggs a year, equal to 4 percent of U.S. egg production, "will begin phasing out the use of eggs from hens housed in cages," said the New York Times, "a move that has significant implications for American and Canadian egg producers."
Utah wildlife officials reported a mallard duck was the third waterfowl in the state with avian influenza since December, said the Associated Press.
British researchers have genetically engineered a chicken that is less susceptible to bird flu than other chickens and that does not infect its flockmates. "But these promising chickens ... won't likely gate-crash their way into poultry production any time soon," says Reuters.
This spring the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza epidemic tore through poultry farms across 15 U.S. states, leading to the death of 48 million birds. The bulk of those were egg-laying hens, though turkey production was affected, too.
A study by an Iowa consulting company estimates the state economy lost $1.2 billion due to the avian influenza epidemic, reports the Des Moines Register.
Shoppers can expect "significantly higher" prices for their holiday turkey and the birds may weigh less than usual, all due to this year's avian influenza epidemic.
The government wants to stockpile up to 500 million doses of vaccine in case it is needed to stop an outbreak of avian influenza this fall and winter.