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Latest Iowa bird flu case forces killing of 250,000 chickens

March 26, 2022 GMT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa agriculture officials said Saturday they have confirmed another case of bird flu in a flock of commercial pullet chickens.

The outbreak in Franklin County is the seventh such outbreak found in Iowa this month, according to a news release from the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship. The department said the latest case affects about 250,000 birds.

An outbreak in Buena Vista County that was found on Wednesday will require the killing of nearly 54,000 turkeys. It’s the third case of avian influenza in the county, following a March 6 case that led to the killing of nearly 50,000 turkeys and an infection found March 17 that resulted in the killing of 5.3 million egg-laying hens.

Iowa has had one other commercial egg-laying chicken farm affected in Taylor County, which involved 915,000 birds. Two other Iowa cases involved backyard birds.

Farms found with the virus must kill and dispose of their flocks because the virus is highly contagious and fatal to domestic birds.