Cal-Maine Foods in TX Panhandle confirms case of bird flu in flock

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A case of bird flu was detected in a poultry facility that produces eggs in the Texas Panhandle, causing Cal-Maine Food to temporarily cease operations.

An egg producer will "depopulate” 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets at one of its Texas facilities after a positive bird flu test. A file photo of egg-laying hens at a poultry facility.. Department of Agriculture guidance to “depopulate” 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets at the facility in the Texas Panhandle. The hens account for about 3.6% of the company’s flock as of early last month.

“This is absolutely devastating news for Cal-Maine and the entire Panhandle region which has already suffered so much already,” Miller said in a news release. “Given this latest development, all producers must practice heightened biosecurity measures. The rapid spread of this virus means we must act quickly.”confirmed a Texas dairy worker tested positive for the bird flu

after being in direct contact with cattle. That was the second human case of the H5N1 flu in the United State and the first associated with exposure to cattle, according to the state and federal officials.. The illness has been detected in 11 dairy herds across Texas, Kansas, Michigan and New Mexico. There are also presumptive positive tests results pending from a facility in Idaho.

Miller said consumers should be assured rigorous safety measures and pasteurization protocols ensure dairy products remain unaffected by the bird flu as dairies are required to destroy or divert milk from any sick cows.“Producers need to work with us and report cases right away,” Miller said. “Transparency is going to be key to navigating and mitigating this outbreak. I encourage producers to work with state and national officials to report any symptomatic animals as soon as you identify them.


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