55,000 chickens to be killed due to another bird flu outbreak in Tennessee, USA
A second case of bird flu in Tennessee has been reported at a chicken farm, heightening the threat from the disease in the U.S. southeast, the country’s biggest poultry region.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza — which can be fatal to domesticated poultry — was found at a commercial chicken-breeder farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee, the state’s agriculture department said Thursday in a statement. The case comes after a chicken farm that was less than 2 miles (3 kilometers) away had reported the deadly virus in early March, the first incident in the U.S. in more than a year. Both farms were contracted with Tyson Foods Inc., according to company spokesman Worth Sparkman.
“Given the close proximity of the two premises, this is not unexpected,” Charles Hatcher, Tennessee state veterinarian, said in the statement. “We will continue to execute our plan, working quickly to prevent the virus from spreading further.”
Shares of Tyson, the largest U.S. chicken company, dropped 1.7 percent to close at $62 in New York on Thursday. The stock earlier fell as much as 3 percent, the biggest intraday decline since March 6. Rival poultry producer Sanderson Farms Inc. declined 1.6 percent and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. slid 1 percent.
While countries across Europe and Asia are also battling with bird flu outbreaks, Brazil, the world’s leading chicken exporter, has remained free of the disease. BRF SA, the country’s largest chicken exporting company, rose as much as 4.5 percent after the news of the second Tennessee case.
The affected flock had 55,000 chickens, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture statement. The farm has been quarantined, and the birds will be destroyed to prevent the disease’s spread. The virus reported at both farms was an H7N9 strain from North American wild-bird lineage.
Since the initial Tennessee report, South Korea banned imports of U.S. poultry and some other importing nations restricted product from the state or area affected.
Courtesy of bloomberg.com