U.S. Poultry Farmers Ramp Up Bird-Flu Precautions

US - Going to the Milford family chicken farm is like trying to infiltrate a high-security medical lab.

After the car's wheels are sprayed down with disinfectant, visitors are outfitted with blue biohazard suits, clear boot coveralls, tight latex gloves and hairnets. Then, before entering the chicken coop, guests must immerse their feet in a soupy but powerful iodine cleanser.

Like other poultry farmers across the country, the Milfords are taking extreme precautions to prevent their livelihood from getting infected with the deadly avian flu virus, which has devastated chicken markets in Europe, Asia and Africa but has yet to be detected in the Western Hemisphere.

As chicken producers for Tyson Foods, they are required by the company to ban non-essential visitors from the farm and test selected chickens before they are sent to the slaughter — one of 15,000 tests the company conducts each week for bird flu, which is five times the number of tests it did last year.

The tightened visitor restrictions and increased testing are the company's "code yellow" precautions, which have been in place for about three months as the virus spreads throughout the world.

Source: Fox News
calendar icon 15 May 2006
clock icon 1 minute read
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