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39,000 turkeys destroyed in Missouri

Avian flu discovered in Jasper County

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

39,000 turkeys in Jasper County, Missouri have been destroyed after a low pathogenic strain of the avian flu virus was discovered.

The World Organization for Animal Health made the announcement; authorities in Missouri have begun surveillance and quarantined the farm, and farms within a 10-kilometre radius have tested negative, Reuters reports.


“There’s no disease,” Janice Grisham, a turkey farmer near Carthage who’s operation is associated with Butterball LLC, told The Joplin Globe. “That’s terrible for that poor man, but the good news is it hasn’t gone any further.”

The outbreak was originally discovered towards the end of April and is identified as the H5N1 strain – low pathogenic, not as contagious as other strains but can mutate into higher pathogenic forms of the illness.

Joelle Hayden, a member of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service with the USDA, told the Globe that there’s no food safety concern as the infected birds won’t enter the food system.

This marks the second avian flu incident to hit the United States in 2016.

In January, more than 400,000 birds were destroyed in Indiana after a low pathogenic strain of avian flu mutated into a more dangerous version.

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