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Avian flu: Iowa to euthanize 5.3 million chickens, Wisconsin declares emergency

Staff writer |
A second outbreak of avian influenza has been discovered in Iowa, this time at a commercial chicken laying facility in Osceola County in northwest Iowa, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

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The facility has 5.3 million hens and all the birds in the flock will be euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease, officials said. The affected flock brings the total number of chickens and turkeys impacted by avian influenza to nearly 8 million birds.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergency to address the virus, authorizing the state’s National Guard to help contain outbreaks and clean up after affected flocks have been exterminated.

Governor Walker signed Executive Order #156, authorizing the Wisconsin National Guard to assist authorities in the response to the avian influenza virus affecting Jefferson, Juneau, and Barron Counties.

“We must act quickly and efficiently to contain the outbreak and protect domestic poultry,” Governor Walker said.

“It is important to note, however, there is no threat to humans with the avian flu outbreak.”

According to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), avian influenza virus has been detected in three Wisconsin poultry flocks, affecting tens of thousands of chickens and turkeys.

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