U.S. unlikely to vaccinate against bird flu
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.
Cost of fighting bird flu outbreaks tops $670 million
The Agriculture Department promotes comprehensive biosecurity measures on the farm as the "best and prudent approach" to combat bird flu outbreaks that have killed 58.6 million birds in domestic flocks in 13 months. The viral disease drove up egg prices during 2022 and, after a respite early this year, egg prices are on the rise again with the approach of Easter.
Sales of antibiotics for food animals rise by 6 percent — FDA
Drug makers sold 11.1 million kilograms (24.5 million pounds) of antibiotics for use in cattle, hogs and poultry last year, up 6 percent from 2021, chiefly because of a large increase in sales of antimicrobials that are not considered medically important, said the FDA on Monday. Despite year-to-year fluctuations, like last year's increase, sales are much lower nowadays than before the FDA barred the use of antimicrobials to encourage weight gain in livestock.
Bird flu losses now on par with worst U.S. animal disease event
In nine months, nationwide outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza have killed 50.12 million birds in domestic flocks, said USDA data on Wednesday. Losses from HPAI and the culling of infected flocks are now on par with the 2014-15 bird flu outbreak, which the USDA has described as the most significant animal disease event in U.S. history.
Poultry exports face potential risks from avian influenza
The risk of another outbreak of avian influenza this fall remains elevated and the stakes for poultry producers couldn’t be higher, with U.S. poultry exports expected to reach record levels in 2022, said a report Tuesday from CoBank's Knowledge Exchange.
Outbreaks on turkey farms push U.S. bird flu total to 25 million
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.
Egg prices spike as bird flu outbreaks reach two-month mark
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.
Bird flu in 23 states, from Wyoming to Massachusetts
Highly pathogenic avian influenza, which has killed more than 17 million birds in domestic flocks since early February, has been identified in five additional states spanning 2,000 miles, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.
Broilers, pullets and turkeys hit as HPAI toll jumps to 15.5 million birds
The Agriculture Department reported on Monday 18 outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) that claimed 1.2 million turkeys, broiler chickens and pullets. More than 15.5 million birds in domestic flocks have died of HPAI or been culled in efforts to prevent the spread of the contagious viral disease in less than two months.
Avian influenza toll skyrockets to 7.65 million birds
This year's outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) are hitting egg-laying flocks the hardest, as they did in 2014 and 2015. Laying hens account for two-thirds of this year's toll, which more than doubled to 7.65 million birds over the weekend, said the USDA on Monday.
Bird flu toll leaps to 2.8 million chickens and turkeys
With new outbreaks in Iowa and Missouri, nearly 2.8 million birds—almost entirely chickens and turkeys—have died in one month due to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the Agriculture Department said on Monday. The viral disease has been identified in 23 poultry farms and backyard flocks in a dozen states since Feb. 8.
Supreme Court won’t hear challenge to California animal welfare laws
The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will not hear Missouri's challenge to California's expanded animal welfare laws, ending the legal dispute over the Golden State's rigorous humane animal standards. The decision follows a December recommendation from the Department of Justice that the highest court not hear the case and others like it.
Farm bill axes ‘King amendment’ on egg rules
Five weeks after Californians voted for still-stronger animal welfare standards, House and Senate negotiators discarded farm bill language sponsored by Iowa Rep. Steve King to roll such state measures back. King, a Republican who recently won a tight race for re-election, had hoped to overturn …
If it’s not cage-free, California referendum would bar sale of eggs, pork and veal
A decade ago, California voters rattled the U.S. farm sector and set off years of lawsuits by approving a referendum to give egg-laying chickens, sows and veal calves the room to stand up, lie down, turn around and fully extend their limbs. On Nov. 6, the electorate could do it again, this time by specifying how many square feet each animal would get and by banning the sale of meat and eggs from farms that do not comply with the rules.
U.S. judge allows lawsuit against USDA withdrawal of organic livestock rule
The USDA spent a decade writing livestock welfare rules for organic farms before, in a regulatory U-turn, it decided last December that it lacked the power to implement those rules. The decision sparked a lawsuit by the organic community. Now a federal judge in San Francisco has rejected the government’s attempt to quash the suit.
Farm bill debate: Eggs, animal welfare, and the ‘free trade zone’ of America
California’s animal welfare regulations, among the strictest in the nation, have spawned a series of court challenges. This week, those regulations became part of the farm bill debate. No paywall
U.S. and South Korea agree to regionalize bird-flu bans
The United States and South Korea, the sixth-largest customer for U.S. farm exports, agreed to limit the trade impact of any outbreaks of deadly avian influenza in the future, announced the USDA.
Video reveals animal abuse at Florida egg farm
An undercover video from the animal welfare group Animal Recovery Mission captured abusive conditions on a Florida egg farm. The farm is owned by Cal-Maine Foods, the country’s largest egg producer.