The widely reported bird flu outbreak that authorities say has already resulted in the slaughter of some 45-plus million chickens and turkeys is completely decimating the poultry industry throughout the U.S. In addition to losing infected birds, many local farms are reportedly having to destroy otherwise healthy broods to avoid further spread of the disease, a gruesome process that typically involves spraying the birds with “suffocating foam” and “composting” their bodies.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that more than 200 outbreaks have occurred among chickens, turkeys and various other birds, though no humans have been diagnosed with either of the two circulating strains — H5N2 and H5N8. Outbreaks have been detected in at least 20 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and more states are expected to see cases in the coming weeks and months.
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