Friday, May 1, 2015

Third massive Iowa egg farm has avian flu

A third massive egg-laying business in Iowa will have to euthanize all of its birds after an outbreak of avian influenza strain H5N2.

The third farm has 5.5 million layers. Iowa has now lost 15 million layers, which is a third of its production capacity.

“A week ago we had the disease at three sites. It went from 12 to 17 today,” Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey said during an increasingly frequent telephone news conference on the subject.

In addition to the 5.5 million-hen commercial laying operation, the Buena Vista cases include two turkey facilities still awaiting bird population estimates.

Sioux County's third case involves 84,000 hens, and Clay County's first case involves a yet to be determined number of laying hens.

In Minnesota, which has declared an emergency, National Guard troops were deployed to haul water to affected farms where it's needed to get composting of euthanized carcasses initiated.