Governor Signs Disaster Proclamation as Officials Order Killing of 4.2 Million Chickens

Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed a disaster proclamation on Tuesday for one of her state’s counties as public health officials prepare to euthanize more than 4 million chickens exposed to a highly contagious bird flu.

The order comes after a case of avian influenza was confirmed among a large flock of egg-laying chickens in Sioux County on Tuesday by state and local agriculture officials, according to a report from CBS News.

As a result, the animals will be destroyed and their remains will be isolated in an attempt to prevent the further spread of the contagion.

In total, some 4.2 million chickens will be put down.

Iowa is the nation’s largest exporter of chicken eggs and the economic effects of the culling are expected to be felt far and wide.

Reynolds signed a disaster proclamation for Sioux County that will last until June 27, her office announced in a Tuesday statement.

“Today Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the signing of a disaster proclamation for Sioux County, Iowa effective immediately,” the governor’s office said. “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,” the statement continued. “The recent HPAI detections in birds do not present an immediate public health concern, and it remains safe to eat poultry products. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately.”

When responding to the news on her X account, Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said she has full confidence in her state’s farmers.

“This is serious, but our Iowa farmers know how to mitigate the spread!” she wrote.

The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported that the discovery of illness among the flock of chickens in Sioux County was the first reported in the state this year.

Other infections have been detected in neighboring Minnesota.

It is believed that avian influenza cases are spread between farms by migrating birds.

According to the Dispatch, 23 million birds have been culled and their carcasses have been isolated in Iowa over the past two years.

Sioux County has been one of the most severely affected counties during that time horizon.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

 

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