After lifting ban on live bird sales, Iowa reports another bird flu outbreak
A northwest Iowa commercial turkey facility has reported a bird flu outbreak, resulting in the destruction of 27,650 birds, the Iowa Department of Agriculture reported Wednesday.
The outbreak at the Buena Vista County operation brings the number of chickens, turkeys and other birds destroyed in Iowa due to highly pathogenic avian influenza to nearly 16 million, U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows.
Last month, the state agency lifted its ban on live bird exhibits, sales and swap meets to prevent the spread of the disease, which is deadly to poultry. The state had gone a month without an outbreak when it lifted its ban.
The last known outbreak in Iowa was Dec. 12, also in Buena Vista County. Wild birds, which can carry the disease without visible symptoms, are believed to spread it as they migrate. Highly pathogenic avian influenza isn't seen as a significant human health threat in the United States.
Bird flu blamed for high egg prices
Bird flu outbreaks across the nation and globe have been blamed for a sharp rise in egg prices and a shortage of large turkeys available at Thanksgiving. The owner of the Waveland Cafe in Des Moines said this month that the egg prices he's paying have tripled, putting a strain on profits. Online shoppers at Hy-Vee and Fareway were paying close to $5 for a dozen eggs Wednesday.
Iowa is the nation's largest producer of eggs, and millions of the birds destroyed in the state have been laying hens.
State and federal agencies have said none of the birds nor any poultry products from flocks where avian influenza is detected will reach U.S. food supplies.
Donnelle Eller covers agriculture, the environment and energy for the Register. Reach her at email@example.com or 515-284-8457.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa facility destroys 27,650 turkeys due to bird flu outbreak