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1.7M egg-laying hens to be depopulated due to HPAI in northeast Nebraska

Largest flock affected by bird flu in Nebraska
Chickens
Posted at 12:39 PM, Apr 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 13:39:34-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — On Wednesday, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture announced the discovery of HPAI, or avian influenza, in a commercial flock of 1.7 million egg-laying hens in Dixon County. It is by far the largest flock to be affected by bird flu in the state of Nebraska this year.

The depopulation of the flock is already underway, and a 6.2-mile control zone has already been established with surveillance. The flock size of 1.7 million birds is triple the size of what was previously the largest flock to be contaminated by HPAI in the state — a flock of 570,000 broilers, called Butler County-1.

All other surveillance and control zones have been released except for an active surveillance zone in Scotts Bluff County, when a mixed flock of 50 chicken and waterfowl was found to have been contaminated with bird flu one week ago Wednesday.

The risk of humans getting HPAI is low, and there are still no human cases reported in the US. However, the threat of bird flu for domestic and commercial flocks is great and can cause a variety of problems from sudden death to degraded egg quality and physical symptoms such as a decrease in food and water consumption and coughing or sneezing.

Avian flu can spread through the birds' nasal discharge and droppings, which also includes indirect contact with the birds themselves and just their biohazards. Therefore, poultry owners are advised by the NDA to restrict access to their property and flocks, wear clean clothes and scrub equipment and boots with disinfectant and avoid sharing tools or supplies.

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