Here We Go: Major Bird Flu Outbreak Shuts Down U.S. Largest Fresh Egg Producer, About 1.6 Million Chickens Culled at Texas Facility

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., recognized as the country’s largest producer of fresh eggs, announced on Tuesday that it has temporarily suspended operations at one of its major facilities located in Parmer County, Texas.

This drastic measure comes in the wake of a detected outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The outbreak has led to the culling of approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets.

This action represents about 3.6% of Cal-Maine Foods’ total flock as of early March 2024, marking a significant loss for the company and the egg industry as a whole.

Cal-Maine released the following statement:

Cal-Maine today reported that one of the Company’s facilities located in Parmer County, Texas, tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (“HPAI”), resulting in depopulation of approximately 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, or approximately 3.6% of the Company’s total flock as of March 2, 2024.

Production at the facility has temporarily ceased as the Company follows the protocols prescribed by the USDA. Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers.

The Company remains dedicated to robust biosecurity programs across its locations; however, no farm is immune from HPAI. HPAI is still present in the wild bird population and the extent of possible future outbreaks, with heightened risk during the migration seasons, cannot be predicted. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the human health risk to the U.S. public from HPAI viruses is considered to be low. Also, according to the USDA, HPAI cannot be transmitted through safely handled and properly cooked eggs. There is no known risk related to HPAI associated with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled.

The Company continues to work closely with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response.

The APHIS division of the USDA and individual states track and publicly report individual incidents of HPAI by location. The Company will provide updated information in its next quarterly report to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and does not expect to provide interim updates unless material.

WATCH:

The Gateway Pundit previously reported that experts have cautioned that a bird flu pandemic may be looming on the horizon, one that could be catastrophic on a scale ‘100 times worse than Covid-19.’

During a recent briefing, scientists highlighted the increasing risk of the H5N1 bird flu strain turning into a pandemic.

The meeting, attended by leading bird flu researchers, medical professionals, and government officials, was convened in response to the human bird flu case and organized by John Fulton, a vaccine consultant and pharmaceutical industry expert, according to Daily Mail.

“This appears to be 100 times worse than Covid, or it could be if it mutates and maintains its high case fatality rate,” said Fulton. “Once it’s mutated to infect humans, we can only hope that the [fatality rate] drops.”

Dr. Suresh Kuchipudi, a notable figure in bird flu research, warned of the virus’s potential for a pandemic, highlighting its global distribution and ability to infect a variety of mammals, including humans.

According to the World Health Organization, the H5N1 fatality rate stands at an alarming 52 percent, a stark contrast to the less than 0.1 percent mortality rate of Covid-19. The concern is that if H5N1 becomes easily transmitted among humans while maintaining its high fatality rate, the consequences could be dire.

Photo of author
Jim Hᴏft is the founder and editor of The Gateway Pundit, one of the top conservative news outlets in America. Jim was awarded the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award in 2013 and is the proud recipient of the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation in May 2016.

You can email Jim Hᴏft here, and read more of Jim Hᴏft's articles here.

 

Thanks for sharing!