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Cal-Maine egg facility tests positive for high path avian influenza

One of the poultry facilities for the nation’s largest egg producer, Cal-Maine Foods, has tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza.

The facility, located in Farwell, Texas (along the New Mexico border) will be required to depopulate 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets. That accounts for about 3.6% of the company’s total flock. The farm is the same part of the state as the dairy farms that have recently reported cases of HPAI. 

This announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control confirmed a positive test of H5N1, a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a Texas dairy worker who had direct contact with cattle that were suspected of being infected with the virus.

On Monday, the UDSA confirmed five new cases of HPAI in dairy facilities, bring the total to eleven across five states.  HPAI as been found in Texas (7), Kansas (2), Michigan (1), and New Mexico (1).  A presumptive positive text result from Idaho is still pending. 

The CDC says the health risk assessment for the general public remains low. Safety measures are in place that prevent food and milk from sick animals from entering the food supply chain.

Dairy and poultry producers are being encouraged to heighten their biosecurity practices and contact their local veterinarian if animals are displaying symptoms of the virus. 

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