Tens of thousands of chickens have been destroyed at a Tennessee chicken farm due to a bird flu outbreak, and 30 other farms within a six-mile radius are being quarantined.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 73,500 chickens were destroyed and will not enter the food system. The highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza, or HPAI, can be deadly to chickens and turkeys.
The breeder supplies Tyson Foods Inc. The company said that it doesn't expect its chicken business to be disrupted, but shares of the Springdale, Arkansas, food producer slid 3 percent in early trading Monday.
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`”We're responding aggressively, and are working with state and federal officials to contain the virus,'' Tyson said in a company release.
The company said it tests all of its flocks for the virus before they leave the farm “out of an abundance of caution.” Results are known before the birds are processed, the company said, and animals are not used if bird flu is detected.
Tennessee's Department of Agriculture declined to name the breeder and would only say it is located in the state's Lincoln County, just west of Chattanooga.
There have been bird flu outbreaks in China and in Europe in recent months, though they are of differing strains.
The USDA said Monday that it does not yet know what type of H7 bird flu is affecting the chickens at Tennessee, but will know within 48 hours.