Birds shipped to incinerator and landfills as bird flu spreads to more counties in Iowa

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Highly pathogenic avian influenza spread to more counties in Iowa, affecting more than a million additional birds.

Probable cases of bird flu were found at commercial laying operations that reported increased mortality in their flocks in Adair and Webster counties, according to a Tuesday, May 26, 2015 report from the Iowa Department of Agriculture. An estimated 975,000 birds were in the Adair County flock, and an estimated 160,000 were in the Webster County flock.

A commercial laying operation with about one million birds was also believed to be contaminated in Wright County according to a May 27, 2015 statement from the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

The first reports of bird flu were confirmed in mid-April 2015 in Buena Vista and Sac counties. Since then, cases have also been reported in Osceola, Sioux, O’Brien, Kossuth, Clay, Pocahontas, Cherokee, Madison, Wright, Palo Alto, Lyon, Plymouth, Calhoun, Adair and Webster counties in Iowa.

More than 25 million birds were affected, and flocks that were confirmed to be infected were euthanized. Because of the large number of affected birds, a large incinerator in Cherokee County was to begin processing the euthanized birds and other materials the week after Memorial Day.

“Some euthanized poultry are being composted, buried, or incinerated on-site at Iowa poultry premises when appropriate,” the agriculture department statement said. “In addition to the incinerator site in Cherokee County, two landfills have agreed to landfill remains under criteria set by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.”

The landfills are southwest of Sheldon and also near Malvern in southwestern Iowa.

As of May 25, more than 19 million commercial laying hens and pullets had been euthanized in Iowa. Depopulation of more than a million turkeys confirmed to have avian influenza had also been completed.

Iowans concerned about avian influenza can call the Iowa Concern Hotline 24 hours a day toll-free at 1-800-447-1985.


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