Bird Flu Is Spreading in the U.S., Threatening Chicken Exports
(Bloomberg) -- A deadly strain of bird flu that’s been raising egg prices ahead of Easter was discovered in five new U.S. states Wednesday, and the virus increasingly is threatening American poultry exports.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza was discovered at a commercial poultry farm in Johnston County, North Carolina, and in backyard flocks in Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio and Wyoming, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a release. Since mid-January, it’s been found in 23 states in flocks totaling nearly 17 million birds.
Countries have been temporarily banning imports from U.S. states where bird flu is present as a result, according to the USDA.
Top buyers such as Mexico, China and Cuba could bring in less poultry following the discovery in North Carolina, a major producer of chicken and turkeys, said Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council in Tucker, Georgia.
Bird flu will also make eggs relatively scarce for the Easter holiday, with production still below levels seen prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report from agriculture lender CoBank.
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