Wisconsin will kill off 2.7 million chickens to stop spread of lethal bird flu outbreak

Latest order brings total number of birds culled since February to over 6.7 million

<p>A man stocks up on eggs in Hong Kong on 7 March</p>

A man stocks up on eggs in Hong Kong on 7 March

An entire flock of 2.75 million egg-laying chickens in the US state of Wisconsin will be killed to prevent the spread of a lethal form of bird flu, officials said on Monday.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it had found a concerning strain of avian flu at a commercial chicken farm in the Midwest state, about 50 miles west of Milwaukee.

They said all the farm's chickens would be destroyed in order to prevent any contamination of the human food chain.

“State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease,” the USDA’s animal health inspection agency said.

“Birds from the flock will not enter the food system... no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.”

The agency did not name the company that owns the affected flock.

According to Reuters, this latest cull will bring the total number of commercially raised chickens and turkeys killed in the US since February to 6.7 million amid the biggest outbreak of avian flu since 2015.

That year, nearly 50 million birds were culled, causing temporary spikes in the price of eggs and costing the federal government $1bn (£767m), but the strain of flu involved was not easily transmissible for humans.

Commercial poultry farmers have been on high alert after the virus was detected in eight states including Iowa and Delaware, affecting both egg-laying birds and birds used for meat.

The outbreak comes on top of rising food prices due to the ongoing supply chain crisis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is a major exporter of grains that feed both people and chickens.

For now, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said the current outbreak poses only a “low risk” to the public and remains “primarily an animal health issue”.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in