The Avian Flu, more colloquially know as the bird flu, has recently been discovered at a Polk County Missouri poultry farm. The virus, discovered through routine tests, has led to a quarantine of birds at the farm, which has not yet been identified.
Despite recent fears of pandemics, the disease only rarely effects humans and typically is a threat only to animals and livestock. However, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, Cargill, contractually operating in a partnership with the farm and owner of the birds in question, has begun culling potentially infected birds.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently investigating the farm and conducting tests in a six mile radius, hoping to find and prevent further outbreaks. The Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Health are both working with the USDA in their investigation.
Birds at the farm tested positive for Avian Flu antibodies, but have not demonstrated symptoms of the disease. This, combined with the low pathogenic nature of this particular strain, has led health officials to declare that the meat from infected birds should not pose a threat to human health. In addition, since the Avian Flu occurs naturally, the farm will not be fined by the USDA and may receive compensation from the federal and state governments.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer