The lethal bird flu virus has been detected at an egg-laying operation located in southern Minnesota’s Nicollet County which hosts 1.1 million hens in all, which makes this the largest single incident in the state since the virus surfaced a couple of months back.
Minnesota is home to the nation’s eighth-largest egg-laying industry.
The sizable Nicollet County farm’s hen flock, which is among the largest in the state, is the third Minnesota egg operation to be hit by the H5N2 virus–the strain of avian influenza which has hit the state’s poultry farms so hard Governor Mark Dayton is now behind a bill at the Legislature designed to open up $10 million in emergency funds to farmers whose birds were hit with the virus.
On Friday, Gov. Dayton signed a bill which enabled roughly $900,000 in emergency funding towards battling the outbreak of the highly pathogenic virus, The Associated Press reported.
The single largest farm hit with the avian flu is an Iowa-based egg operation with 5.5 million birds, which is owned by the same businessman that owns the Star Tribune, Glen Taylor, according to a report on the Star Tribune. A 3.8 million hen farm is Iowa’s Osceola County was also hit, according to earlier reports.
The name of the recently stricken farm was not released by animal health regulators who cited state law regarding the release of the names of farms hit with the virus.
Minnesota, which is the largest producer of turkeys in the nation, has already lost roughly eight-percent of their annual turkey production to the recent outbreak.
For humans, the bird flu is considered low risk. It doesn’t pose any known food safety hazard and it hasn’t made anyone sick in the United States since it was first reported last winter.
What are your thoughts on the recent avian bird flu outbreak?