Texas Poultry Facility Mandated to Cull Over 1 Million Hens Due to Escalating Bird Flu Outbreak

Texas Poultry Facility Mandated to Cull Over 1 Million Hens Due to Escalating Bird Flu Outbreak

A poultry farm in Texas stopped making eggs and chicken on Tuesday because of new cases of bird flu, the state’s agriculture commissioner revealed.

In a statement about the H5N1 virus, which is also known as bird flu, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said, “We must act quickly because this virus is spreading so quickly.”

The state told the poultry plant in Farwell, Maine, called Cal-Maine Foods Inc. that they need to get rid of 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, which are young female chickens. These animals make up more than 3% of Cal-Maine’s total flock at their facility in Parmer County, Texas, which is close to the border with New Mexico.

“This is absolutely devastating news for Cal-Maine and the entire Panhandle region, which has already suffered so much already,” Miller said. “Because of this latest development, all producers must take more biosecurity precautions.”

The first case of bird flu in a person was found on Monday in Texas. The person had been around sick cattle.

That happened on the same day that the USDA confirmed five new cases of bird flu in dairy farms in five states. The CDC said that seven of the cases were in Texas, two were in Kansas, one was in Michigan, and one was in New Mexico.

Miller told the people of Texas that they can be sure that “rigorous safety measures and pasteurization protocols ensure that dairy products remain unaffected.”

He stressed, “The current risk to the public remains minimal.” “As a business, we need to stay very alert. As things change, state and national organizations will continue to give updated advice.

Researchers said last year that fighting the bird flu will need an immediate, coordinated reaction from the whole country.

As per the CDC’s “current situation summary,” there have been two cases of H5N1 in people in the United States, as well as “widespread” detections and “sporadic outbreaks” in poultry flocks and “sporadic infections” in mammals.

The CDC also said there is a “low” risk to public health and that the disease has not been known to have spread from person to person.

The agriculture department of Texas asked farmers to call veterinarians if their animals show any of the symptoms listed by the CDC. They also said that it is “vital” for American dairy facilities to “practice heightened biosecurity measures to mitigate further spread.”

Bird flew cases reached Santa Barbara County, California, in February 2023. In October of that year, the bird flu spread to two farms in Iowa.

Since 2015, Miller has been the Republican agriculture commissioner. “Producers need to work with us and report cases right away,” he said. “Transparency is going to be key to navigating and mitigating this outbreak.”

“I encourage producers to work with state and national officials to report any symptomatic animals as soon as you identify them,” Miller told us.

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