Mourning Dead and Dying Birds in Iowa

Taken from The Republican-American, Friday May 8, 2015

Handling of dead birds cause of concern in Iowa.

DES MOINES, IOWA – Millions of dead chickens and turkeys lie in stinking, fly-swarmed piles near dozens of Iowa farms, casualties of a bird flu virus that’s swept through the state’s large poultry operations in the last month.

Contractors hired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture move methodically from barn to barn at the 28 farms, killing the animals that haven’t yet died from the H5N2 virus-a suffocating foams for turkeys, carbon dioxide gas to asphyxiate chickens. Neighbors say they understand the challenge the state’s producers face in disposing of more than 20 million bird carcasses, but are eager for quick action, especially as temperatures rise.

“People in low-lying areas near those facilities have contacted me complaining about a very large number of flies and, until the wind comes up and goes the right direction, a lingering odor.” and Sen. David Johnson.

Iowa, which raises nearly 20 percent of the nation’s egg-laying chickens and produces nearly one in every five eggs consumed in the U.S. saw its first reported case on April 13, 2015. Since then, nearly 21 million chickens and 470,000 turkeys have died, are dying or are in the line to be euthanized.  It isn’t the only state dealing wiht the issue.  More than 100 farms in the Midwest have been hit, leading to the loss of more than 28 million chickens and turkeys – 5.5 million of those in Minnesota, the nation’s leading turkey producer.

 


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