Wildlife

Over 700,000 turkeys euthanized in Utah due to Avian flu

UTAH – According to the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), over 700,000 turkeys from 18 different Utah farms have been euthanized due to an avian flu outbreak.

Health professionals confirm that while the bird flu causes significant health risks to birds, there is a slim chance that it will spread to humans.

According to UDAF officials, all the turkeys on the 18 Utah farms were euthanized to stop the disease’s spread and spare the animals the agony they would otherwise endure.

Avian flu is contracted through wild birds, which is why cases increase during migratory seasons such as spring and fall. The UDAF reported the first Avian flu infections earlier this summer, but cases did not start taking off until August.

The UDAF now estimates around 2.2 million birds throughout the country have become infected with the avian flu.

This killer disease will also impact millions of Americans this holiday season, as there is already an expected shortage of turkeys over Thanksgiving, and according to the United States Department of Agriculture, inflation has already caused the average retail price for turkey to go up 50%, to just about $2 per pound.

Symptoms of Avian flu include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If domestic birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact the state veterinarian’s office immediately at statevet@utah.gov. Early reporting and action will help to contain the disease.

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