Challenges of Depopulating a Large Egg Flock

US - The Iowa egg company hit by H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza has been facing the huge challenges of humanely euthanising of the flock and then safely disposing of the carcasses.
calendar icon 24 April 2015
clock icon 2 minute read

Destroying 3.8 million egg-laying hens is fraught with challenges, reports Des Moines Register.

The Osceola County operation in northwest Iowa, the largest in the nation to test positive for avian influenza, is struggling with several decisions, state officials said this week. Chief among them: how to humanely euthanise the birds and dispose of them.

During a press update this week, John Clifford, the US Department of Agriculture's chief veterinary officer, said: "It's a huge undertaking."

Sonstegard Foods Co., based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, confirmed this week that bird flu was discovered at Sunrise Farms, an egg-laying operation affiliated with the company. Sonstegard said Sunrise Farms, near Harris in northwest Iowa, contracted the virus, despite going to great lengths to prevent the introduction of the disease.

Now Sonstegard and Sunrise are wrestling with how to dispose of millions of hens after they have been euthanised, said officials at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, one of several federal and state agencies that have responded to the outbreak.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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