At a Glance:
- The lethal avian flu has been identified in wild birds in Indiana.
- The flu already spreading across Europe and affected Asia, Africa, and Canada.
- The U.S. is the world’s largest producer and second-largest exporter of poultry meat.
The U.S. poultry farmers are on high alert after the identification of bird flu. The wild birds are spreading highly lethal forms of avian flu across the country.
Indiana has reported highly pathogenic bird flu on the commercial turkey farm. This led to banning the imports of poultry in China, South Korea, and Mexico. This disease spread is reported at a time when the U.S. industry is already struggling with labor shortages fuelling food inflation.
Bird Flu is already widespread
The highly lethal flu is already spreading across Europe and has affected Africa, Asia, and Canada. However, the outbreak in Indiana—which is a bird migratory pathway—concerned the U.S. producers.
The U.S. is the world’s second-largest exporter of poultry, an outbreak can affect the states drastically. The 2015 outbreak of bird flu killed around 50 million birds, mostly turkeys and egg-laying chickens in the Midwest.
The VP of research for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, Denise Heard stated, “Everyone is just sitting on edge because we know what can happen and we don’t want a repeat of that.”
Poultry companies action plan
Perdue Farms has already suspended in-person visits to the farms, to mitigate the risk of spreading the disease. Also, Mike Naig, Iowa’s Agriculture Secretary, acknowledged that the confirmed case poses a heightened risk. He said, “It’s time to move to a higher alert for our livestock producers.”
The experts have reported that wild birds are likely to spread the H5N1 virus that can be transmitted to humans. The officials have also confirmed that the wild ducks were infected with the strain in Indiana.
However, the U.S. Agriculture Department has commented that the disease poses a low risk for humans. Despite the mixed warnings, the poultry farmers are abiding by strict safety measures to keep bird flu outbreaks at bay.
Read to know more about: Avian influenza – Symptoms and causes