Bird flu has been discovered at a factory farm with 1.2 million chickens in Delaware, the United States government said. All the animals at the farm will be killed and their bodies destroyed.
The outbreak brings the total number of farm birds killed in the region to about 1.65 million over the past two weeks.
US officials said that all the chickens at the infected farm in New Castle County will be killed to stop the spread of the disease and will not enter the food system. Japan blocked eggs from Delaware because of the bird flu outbreaks in the area.
The farm was infected with the highly pathogenic H5 type of bird flu, which has been spreading through Europe and Asia, and emerged due to intensive bird farming.
“Normally, wild birds only carry the low-pathogenic variant. In intensive poultry farming, this mild flu mutated into a serious variant,” Dutch virologist Thijs Kuiken of Erasmus University Rotterdam said.
Years ago, this variant escaped from animal farms in Asia, and since then, it has been circulating in Europe, Asia and Africa.
“In the long term, we have to realize that the intensive way of raising animals, with a huge number of animals huddled together in one spot, is no longer sustainable for many reasons,” Kuiken said.
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