Iowa Ag Department Says 4.2 Million Chickens Have To Be Euthanized In Sioux County Due To Bird Flu

Sioux County, Iowa — The Avian Flu outbreak in Sioux County is no small matter for the owners of the affected birds.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says the company that owned the egg-laying chickens, known as “layers,” is having to destroy no fewer than 4.2 million birds to stem the outbreak of the virus.

The USDA says that when avian influenza is found in a facility, it needs to be secured to prevent movement of poultry and poultry equipment into or out of the area. All the birds in the flock must be humanely euthanized, and after the birds have been depopulated, the area has to be cleaned and disinfected.

The virus affects both wild and domestic bird populations as well as lactating dairy cattle. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is also often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys. With supportive care, dairy cattle recover with little to no mortality stemming from the disease.

There is a state disaster proclamation in effect for Sioux County through June 27, 2024. This proclamation allows state resources from Iowa Homeland Security, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and other agencies to assist with tracking and monitoring, rapid detection, containment, disposal, and disinfection. The proclamation also waives regulatory provisions related to commercial vehicles responding to affected sites. 


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