Worst bird flu outbreak in us!Poultry prices have soared

2022-05-29 0 By

As of Wednesday (March 30), 23 states in the United States have reported outbreaks of the highly pathogenic bird flu virus, making it the worst outbreak of bird flu in the United States since 2015.The outbreak could increase the threat to U.S. poultry exports and lead to higher poultry prices.Since the beginning of this year, the United States has had its first outbreak of a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu in two years.Since mid-January, nearly 17 million birds — chickens, turkeys and other poultry — have been infected, mostly laying hens, in 23 states.The most recent cases of highly pathogenic bird flu have been found on chicken farms in North Carolina, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio and Wyoming, the USDA said in a news release.Nearly 11.8 million laying hens, or 3 percent of the U.S. total, have died of highly pathogenic bird flu in less than a month, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Although bird flu had been detected between mid-January and early February, it wasn’t until March 4 that infection was first detected in laying hens at a large Maryland poultry farm with more than 460,000 hens, according to the USDA.It was not until the outbreak of bird flu was discovered in large poultry farms in Iowa, Maryland and other states (large companies with hundreds of thousands or even millions of hens) that the outbreak was confirmed.Some countries have temporarily banned imports of poultry from U.S. states where bird flu has hit, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, predicted that major buyers such as Mexico, China and Cuba would likely reduce poultry imports following the outbreak in North Carolina, a major chicken and Turkey producer.Easter falls on April 17 this year.Bird flu will also make Easter eggs relatively scarce, with production still below pre-pandemic levels, according to the report from CoBank, a US agricultural lender.Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are closely monitoring the possible impact of the outbreak on food inflation.They expect U.S. poultry prices to rise 6.5 percent this year from a year earlier, nearly three times the rate of previous years.”Continued outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza could lead to reduced supplies of poultry products or eggs in the United States, resulting in higher poultry and egg prices,” they said last week.But it could also lead to lower international demand, which in turn would depress poultry prices [in the U.S.].”