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Bird Flu Outbreak’s Toll: 1.35 Million Chickens Slated for Culling in Ohio

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The poultry industry suffers a setback as more than 1.3 million chickens will be culled at an Ohio egg farm due to the rapid spread of Bird Flu.

The US Department of Agriculture has mandated the culling of the entire 1.35 million-strong chicken population in Union County after confirming a case of the highly contagious virus within the flock.

While the current outbreak, which began in early 2022, has shown reduced severity this year with fewer reported cases among wild birds the primary carriers of the virus the toll on domestic poultry remains alarming. 

Approximately 8.1 million birds have been culled this year to curb the disease, with a staggering 5.8 million of those being slaughtered this month alone. This includes devastating losses at major egg farms in Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio, underscoring the widespread impact on the industry.

Egg farms, known for their extensive scale with millions of birds, face heightened vulnerability to outbreaks. Iowa, the largest egg-producing state, has witnessed the hardest blow, losing nearly 17.3 million birds, while Ohio, another leading producer, has reported 5.1 million bird losses due to the avian flu.

Bird Flu Outbreak Spreads Across Multiple States

bird-flu-outbreak's-toll-1.35-million-chickens-slated-for-culling-in-ohio
The poultry industry suffers a setback as more than 1.3 million chickens will be culled at an Ohio egg farm due to the rapid spread of Bird Flu.

Recent cases of the bird flu have emerged across several states, including Minnesota, Maryland, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Georgia, and California. The largest incident this week occurred at a Maryland chicken farm, resulting in the culling of 198,200 birds.

Farmers are diligently implementing preventive measures such as strict hygiene protocols for workers, sanitization of vehicles entering farms, and ensuring separate tools for each barn. Despite these efforts, the virus’s transmission remains a challenge, especially along migratory bird routes.

Health officials reassure the public that bird flu poses minimal health risks to humans, as cases are exceptionally rare, and infected birds are barred from entering the food supply chain. 

Adequate cooking of poultry and eggs at 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.89 degrees Celsius) effectively eliminates any viruses, ensuring food safety.

The relentless battle against the bird flu continues to challenge the poultry industry, emphasizing the critical need for rigorous preventive measures to safeguard flocks and mitigate the virus’s impact on domestic poultry production.

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