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Avian Influenza Resurfaces in US Commercial Poultry Flocks in Utah and South Dakota

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Reappearance of Deadly Bird Flu in US Commercial Poultry Flocks in Utah and South Dakota

Highly pathogenic bird flu has resurfaced in US commercial poultry flocks, affecting one turkey farm in South Dakota and another in Utah. The US Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of avian influenza, which is lethal to commercial poultry, in a flock of 47,300 turkeys in Jerauld County, South Dakota, on October 4th, and in a farm with 141,800 birds in Sanpete County, Utah, on October 6th. These are the first reported outbreaks among commercial flocks since the disease struck two turkey farms in the Dakotas in April. Infected flocks are typically culled to prevent the spread of the flu, and the farms are decontaminated. Prior to these recent cases, bird flu had been sporadically appearing in backyard flocks and wild birds such as ducks, geese, and eagles. Although wild birds may not show symptoms, their infections are concerning to the poultry industry as migrating birds can transmit the disease to vulnerable commercial flocks. Last year, bird flu outbreaks in the US resulted in the loss of nearly 59 million birds across 47 states, making it the deadliest outbreak in the country's history. The outbreak caused price increases for eggs and turkeys and incurred significant costs for the government. While bird flu infections in humans are rare and not considered a food safety risk, scientists are concerned about the potential for the virus to evolve and spread more easily among people. The reemergence of bird flu underscores the importance of biosecurity practices in the poultry industry. Producers are encouraged to maintain strict biosecurity measures to prevent the introduction and spread of the virus in their flocks.

Impact of Bird Flu Reappearance on New Businesses in the Poultry Industry

The reappearance of the highly pathogenic bird flu in US commercial poultry flocks presents a significant challenge for new businesses in the poultry industry. The recent outbreaks in South Dakota and Utah, the first among commercial flocks since April, underscore the persistent threat of this disease.

Importance of Biosecurity Practices

These outbreaks highlight the critical importance of stringent biosecurity practices in preventing the spread of the virus. New businesses in the poultry industry must prioritize these measures to protect their flocks and ensure business continuity.

Cost Implications

The financial implications of a bird flu outbreak can be severe, as evidenced by last year's outbreak which resulted in significant losses for poultry producers and increased costs for the government. New businesses must factor these potential costs into their financial planning and risk management strategies.
Consumer Confidence and Market Dynamics
While bird flu infections in humans are rare and not considered a food safety risk, the disease's reemergence could impact consumer confidence and market dynamics. New businesses must be prepared to navigate these challenges and reassure consumers about the safety of their products. In conclusion, the reappearance of bird flu in US commercial poultry flocks presents both challenges and opportunities for new businesses, emphasizing the importance of robust biosecurity measures and effective risk management strategies.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/deadly-bird-flu-reappears-in-us-commercial-poultry-flocks-in-utah-and-south-dakota
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