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 ongoing bird flu outbreak is the largest ever in Europe and North America, and recent reports suggest the disease has passed from mammal to mammal, raising the risk of a spillover into humans, said a U.S. medical journal. The director general of the World Health Organization said that while the risk to people remained low, the reported infections in mink, otters, and sea lions “must be monitored closely.”
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.
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.
Poultry processors could be required to test birds for salmonella bacteria before slaughter and for so-called indicator organisms during processing under a USDA proposal aimed at reducing food-borne illnesses in raw poultry. Under the framework, the Food Safety and Inspection Service might create an enforceable standard to prevent sale of poultry with high levels of the bacteria.
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.
After a summertime lull, bird flu is back in the Midwest, the heart of U.S. egg and turkey production, with outbreaks at commercial poultry farms in Minnesota and Ohio since Sept. 1. Some 43.85 million birds have been culled this year due to highly pathogenic avian influenza, and one analyst says turkey and egg prices may remain elevated for some time to come.
The House Agriculture Committee approved legislation on Wednesday to create a special investigator’s office at the Agriculture Department to enforce fair-play laws in the highly concentrated meat industry. Cleared for a House vote on a party-line, 27-21 roll call, the bill, HR 7606, is the strongest competition bill to advance in this session of Congress.
Bird flu ranks as a low threat to public health, said the Centers for Disease Control, after a Colorado correctional inmate tested positive for avian influenza after culling an infected flock. It was the first U.S. case and the second worldwide of human infection by the H5N1 viruses now circulating among birds globally.
With the discovery of bird flu on a Pennsylvania egg farm, more than 20 million egg-laying hens have died in outbreaks of the viral disease this year, according to USDA data released on Monday. Wholesale prices for eggs were at least $1 higher per dozen than a year ago, with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) as a factor.
Laboratory tests confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in three additional states, Pennsylvania, Idaho and Utah, with losses in domestic flocks nearing 27.4 million birds, said the Agriculture Department. The first outbreak in Pennsylvania, at an egg farm in Lancaster County, was announced two days after the state banned poultry shows at county and local fairs for 60 days.
In less than three months, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has killed more than 31 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, in domestic flocks from the Atlantic coast into the Rockies, according to USDA data released Sunday. Officials said bird flu was identified on two additional egg farms in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, with a combined 2 million hens.
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.
For the first time this year, officials identified highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in domestic flocks in Montana and Colorado. With the discoveries, bird flu has been found in 25 states, from Maine and North Carolina and Texas and Wyoming since early February and at 159 sites totaling 24.65 million birds, mostly chickens and turkeys, according to USDA data.
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.
In three weeks, outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have killed more than 4 percent of the egg-laying chickens in America. "Egg availability may be limited leading into Easter," traditionally a high-demand period for eggs, said analysts at rural lender CoBank.
For the first time, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in Minnesota, the top turkey-producing state in the nation, said agricultural officials over the weekend. Some 14.6 million birds in domestic flocks have died of HPAI or in culling of infected herds to reduce the spread of the viral disease this year.