1.36 million chickens being euthanized to prevent spread of bird flu, Colorado officials say

At least 1.36 million chickens are being euthanized in Colorado to prevent the spread of bird...
At least 1.36 million chickens are being euthanized in Colorado to prevent the spread of bird flu, according to the state's Department of Agriculture.(Preston Keres / USDA)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 8:12 PM EDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 8:27 PM EDT
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WELD COUNTY, Colo. (Gray News) – A commercial egg facility in Colorado has started euthanizing its 1.36 million chickens after bird flu was detected, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture (CDA).

Highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed among the flock in the egg-producing facility on April 29. The euthanizing of the birds began on May 1.

The CDA noted that the bird flu does not pose a food safety risk, and that poultry and eggs are safe to eat as long as they are handled and cooked properly.

Nearly all of the detections of the virus in domestic poultry have been from a single point of introduction from a wild bird shedding the virus, the CDA said in a report.

“Because of the prompt response to detections by state and federal animal health officials, we are not seeing the same flock-to-flock spread we have seen in past outbreaks. This indicates that our response strategy to quickly contain the virus is working to limit lateral spread,” the report reads.

The CDA also said it worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Colorado State University in addition to state and local partners to conduct extensive outreach to commercial as well as backyard bird owners to implement biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of the bird flu.

A flock at a commercial breeder with 60,000 birds and two small backyard poultry flocks were also euthanized to prevent the spread of the virus.

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