October 10, 2022
Highly pathogenic bird flu detected in Arkansas state, US
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said it has detected highly pathogenic bird flu among breeding chickens in Arkansas state, US, expanding the outbreak of the virus in the key southern poultry producing region, Reuters reported.
The bird flu outbreak this year has killed more than 47 million birds nationwide, making it the worst outbreak since a record 50 million birds were wiped out in 2015.
Before the case in Arkansas, top states for raising broiler chickens for meat, like Georgia and Alabama, had largely avoided infections in commercial flocks.
Data from the US government showed that Arkansas produced more than 1 billion broiler chickens in 2017, making it the third-highest producer state.
The USDA said the disease struck a flock of commercial broiler breeder chickens in Madison County, Arkansas, which is located in the northwest of the state. The area was quarantined by state officials, and the agency announced that the birds there would be culled.
This year, the bird flu crisis in Europe was at its worst ever, leading to the culling of nearly 50 million birds. According to the EU's Food Safety Agency, the virus' persistence over the summer has increased the possibility of widespread infections the following season.