RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state veterinarian in North Carolina says all poultry shows and public sales in North Carolina are being suspended because of the threat of the deadly avian flu.
State Veterinarian Mike Martin says in a news release that the suspension includes all exhibitions, farm tours, shows, sales, flea markets, auction markets, swaps and meets pertaining to poultry and feathered fowl.
The activities are suspended until further notice.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says North Carolina joins several other states, including Georgia, that have also canceled or altered poultry events due to the flu.
The spread of the bird flu that is deadly to poultry raises the grisly question of how farms manage to quickly kill and dispose of millions of chickens and turkeys.
It’s a chore that farms across the country are increasingly facing as the number of poultry killed in the past two months has climbed to more than 24 million, with outbreaks reported nearly every day.
Some farms have had to kill more than 5 million chickens at a single site with a goal of destroying the birds within 24 hours to limit the spread of the disease and prevent animals from suffering.
“The faster we can get on site and depopulate the birds that remain on site, the better,” Minnesota State Veterinarian Beth Thompson said.
The outbreak is the biggest since 2015, when producers had to kill more than 50 million birds. So far this year, there have been cases in 24 states, with Iowa the hardest hit with about 13 million chickens and turkeys killed. Other states with sizable outbreaks include Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and Indiana.