570,000 Chickens to be Slaughtered

More than a half-million chickens will be slaughtered at a Nebraska poultry farm due to bird flu. The highly contagious disease has been found on a second farm in the state.

Lincoln Premium Poultry says that the affected farm in Butler County is under quarantine and under the authority of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture. Company officials say they will have to destroy the entire flock of 570,000 broiler chickens after tests indicated cases of avian flu. The area is under quarantine and a six mile control zone has been set up around the farm.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture has identified the highly pathogenic avian influenza in Dickinson, Frankin, and Sedgwick Counties. While it has not been identified in Saline County at this time, the Saline County Health Department advises all residents to increase vigilance and review biosecurity practices for their flocks.

As always, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 °F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

The health department say symptoms to watch for include coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, and other signs of respiratory distress; lack of energy and appetite; decreased water consumption; decreased egg production and/or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; incoordination; and diarrhea.

Avian influenza can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing other symptoms.

According to the Centers for Dissase Control and Prevention, although avian influenza viruses usually do not infect humans, there have been some rare cases of human infection with these viruses. Illness in humans from bird flu virus infections have ranged in severity from no symptoms or mild illness to severe disease that resulted in death.

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Photo by William Moreland via unsplash