One-fourth of U.S. losses to bird flu in outbreaks that began in early 2022 were recorded in the past three months, when the viral disease staged a resurgence, according to USDA data released on Thursday. Some 20.9 million birds were culled in infected domestic flocks from October through December to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
In an event that traditionally opens the holiday season in Washington, President Biden pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys, briefly plugged his rural policies, and joked about his age — 81 — on Monday, his birthday. "I want you to know, it's difficult turning 60," he said, evoking laughter from a couple of hundred people on the South Lawn of the White House. "Difficult."
Ending a five-month hiatus, highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in commercial flocks in two states — turkey farms in Utah and South Dakota — said the Agriculture Department. Some 58.97 million birds, mostly egg-laying chickens and turkeys being raised for human consumption, have died in bird flu outbreaks that began in February 2022.
The outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza that killed a record 58.8 million birds in domestic flocks and drove up egg prices in 2022 and early 2023 has faded during the summer months, said USDA data published on Monday. Only three outbreaks, totaling 1,860 birds, have been discovered since Memorial Day, according to USDA's online list of confirmed cases.
Fewer than 900,000 birds in domestic flocks have died due to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) this year, said the Agriculture Department in a review of bird flu outbreaks that date from February 2022.
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.
Wholesale egg prices are down more than $1 a dozen since hitting a record daily average price of $5.40 a dozen in the week before Christmas, said USDA economists in the monthly Livestock, Dairy and Poultry report.
Egg prices at the grocery store were elevated throughout 2022 due to outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) among egg-laying hens, said USDA economists. “Lower-than-usual shell egg inventories near the end of the year, combined with increased demand stemming from the holiday baking season, resulted in several successive weeks of record-high egg prices."
A record 50.54 million birds in domestic flocks have died of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or were culled to prevent spread of the viral disease since February, according to USDA data.
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.
The Agriculture Department has spent $450 million to combat this year’s outbreak of bird flu, but losses among domestic flocks are nearing the record set seven years ago in the largest-ever U.S. animal health emergency. The outbreak has driven up egg prices and tightened the supply of holiday turkeys.
For the first time, researchers have tracked the movements of a wild duck infected with bird flu, information that could help them come up with disease mitigation strategies against the viral disease, said the U.S. Geological Survey on Wednesday. More than 47.7 million birds in U.S. domestic flocks have died in outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza since February.
A broiler breeder flock in northwestern Arkansas was infected by highly pathogenic avian influenza, part of an autumn resurgence of the viral disease (HPAI), said the Agriculture Department. Arkansas ranks third among states in production of broiler chickens, which are grown for human consumption.
Bird flu was discovered in a backyard flock in the Albuquerque area, making New Mexico the 42nd state where the viral disease has been confirmed this year, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday.
Bird flu cases have been reported from the Arctic islands of northern Norway to southern Portugal this year in the largest epidemic yet seen in Europe of the disease, said the E.U. food safety agency on Monday. The virus that causes highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was unusually persistent during the summer and the risk of disease among flocks would increase with autumn migratory season, it said.
Scientists confirmed a backyard flock of poultry in northwestern Tennessee was infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), part of a resurgence of the disease in the central states. Some 3.37 million birds in domestic flocks have died of bird flu so far this month; nationwide losses during September will be the largest since April.
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.
While beef and broiler meat exports surged in the first half of this year, egg exports plummeted 38 percent, turkey 20 percent and pork 18 percent, said USDA economists. Eggs and turkeys "were negatively impacted by the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), according to the Livestock, Dairy and Poultry Outlook, issued monthly.
While this year’s outbreaks of bird flu, the worst in seven years, are following the usual pattern of dissipating during hot weather, it’s too early to declare the threat over, said the Agriculture Department on Wednesday.