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50.54mn birds wiped out in US due to Avian flu

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November 25, 2022 (MLN): 50.54 million birds have been wiped out due to Avian flu, the deadliest outbreak in the history of the United States, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed on Thursday.

The deaths of chickens, turkeys, and other birds represent the worst U.S. animal-health disaster to date, topping the previous record of 50.5 million birds that died in an avian-flu outbreak in 2015, Reuters highlighted in a report today.

“Losses of poultry flocks sent prices for eggs and turkey meat to record highs, worsening economic pain for consumers facing red-hot inflation and making Thursday's Thanksgiving celebrations more expensive in the United States,” it added. Meanwhile, Europe and Britain are also suffering their worst avian-flu crises, and some British supermarkets rationed customers' egg purchases after the outbreak disrupted supplies.

The report further added that the U.S. outbreak, which began in February, infected flocks of poultry and non-poultry birds across 46 states, USDA data show.

Wild birds like ducks transmit the virus, known as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), through their feces, feathers or direct contact with poultry, it noted.

Farmers struggled to keep the disease and wild birds out of their barns after increasing security and cleaning measures following the 2015 outbreak. In 2015, about 30% of the cases were traced directly to wild bird origins, compared to 85% this year, Rosemary Sifford, the USDA's chief veterinary officer told Reuters.

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Posted on: 2022-11-25T13:29:19+05:00