Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Bird flu reported at Tennessee farm that produces chickens for Tyson Foods; 73,500 birds slaughtered

About 73,500 birds at a Tennessee farm that produces chickens for Tyson Foods had to be culled over the weekend in response to an outbreak of avian flu, "the first time the disease has struck this year," reports the Chattanooga Times Free Press. The U.S. Department of Agriculture "has not yet fully identified the specific strain of the H7 virus found at the farm" outside Fayetteville, about two hours from Chattanooga (Best Places map).

USDA put a quarantine around the the affected area to test if the disease had spread, reports the Free Press. Tyson said in a statement, "All flocks located within a 6-mile radius of the farm will be tested and will not be transported unless they test negative for the virus. Based on the limited scope known to us at this time, we don't expect disruptions to our chicken business."

Last year there was one reported incident of bird flu, at a turkey farm in Indiana, reports the Free Press. "A flu epidemic led to the culling of some 48 million chickens and turkeys from late 2014 through mid-2015, dealing a crippling blow to U.S. egg producers, as well as to some turkey producers and backyard poultry growers. Authorities believe migratory birds are primarily responsible for spreading bird flu, though a 2015 analysis by the USDA also described a human role in spreading the disease."

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