Bird flu found; 73,500 chick­ens are de­stroyed

The af­fected breeder sup­plies Tyson; 30 other farms are quar­an­tined.

Austin American-Statesman - - COMMUNITY NEWS - Bird flu

Tens of thou­sands of chick­ens have been de­stroyed at a Ten­nessee chicken farm due to a bird flu out­break and 30 other farms within a 6-mile ra­dius have been quar­an­tined.

The U.S. De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture said 73,500 chick­ens were de­stroyed at the fa­cil­ity and will not en­ter the food sys­tem. The H7 avian in­fluenza can be deadly to chick­ens and tur­keys.

“Bird flu” is a catch-all phrase for a va­ri­ety of in­fluenza viruses that spread among poul­try. They can be very con­ta­gious and deadly among birds, but rarely spread to hu­mans. That said, deadly hu­man flu pan­demics have been sparked by viruses that first emerged in birds, and health of­fi­cials closely track what’s killing poul­try.

Flu can spread from birds to hu­mans through the air, or when peo­ple touch a bird or an in­fected sur­face and then touch their eye, nose or mouth.

The af­fected Ten­nessee breeder sup­plies the food com­pany Tyson Foods Inc. The com­pany said Mon­day that it doesn’t expect its chicken busi­ness to be dis­rupted, but the out­break sent jit­ters through Wall Street.

Shares of Tyson, based in Spring­dale, Arkansas, fell and the news dragged down shares of other com­pa­nies in the sec­tors, as well.

“We’re re­spond­ing ag­gres­sively, and are work­ing with state and fed­eral of­fi­cials to con­tain the virus,” Tyson said in a com­pany re­lease.

The com­pany said it al­ready tests all of its flocks for the virus be­fore they leave farms “out of an abun­dance of caution.” Results are known be­fore the birds are pro­cessed, the com­pany said, and an­i­mals are not used if bird flu is de­tected.

Ten­nessee’s De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture is not iden­ti­fy­ing the farm where the chick­ens were de­stroyed, say­ing only that it is lo­cated in the state’s Lin­coln County, which is just west of Chat­tanooga and bor­ders Alabama.

Only one com­mer­cial chicken farm in Alabama was within the

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.