Thousands of poultry birds will be culled to prevent the spreading of a strain of bird flu virus that has been detected in a flock of chicken breeder on a Tennessee farm, officials have confirmed.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) detected on the Tennessee farm is contracted to American food giant Tyson Foods Inc.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that HPAI can cause 100 per cent mortality in poultry birds within 48 hours.
State Gov. Bill Haslam said, “Many Tennessee families rely on the poultry industry for their livelihoods, and the state is working closely with local, county and federal partners and the poultry industry to control the situation and protect the flocks that are critical to our state’s economy.”
Tyson, the nation’s leading chicken meat producer, said in a statement that it was working with state and federal officials to contain HPAI by culling the birds on the farm.
It is the first confirmed case of the HPAI detected in commercial poultry in the United States so far this year.
The U.S. experience one of its most widespread outbreaks of HPAI in 2014 and 2015, when officials had to order culling of more than 50 million birds. The losses pushed egg prices in the nation to record highs, prompting authorities to ban exports of eggs.