USDA points to industry practices in bird flu spread
USDA says biosecurity lapses may have led to a spread in the bird flu outbreak
The US Department of Agriculture has alleged industry practices may have contributed to the spread of bird flu that has resulted in the death of more than 47 million birds.
In a 38-page report published yesterday (15 June) after conducting investigations on 80 poultry farms, the USDA said inadequate biosecurity and cleaning practices by the poultry industry have likely helped the spread.
Scientists at the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service believe wild birds were responsible for introducing highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) into commercial poultry but insisted "there is not substantial or significant enough evidence to point to a specific pathway or pathways for the current spread of the virus," stated the report.
"Given the number and proximity of farms affected by HPAI, it appears the virus is spreading in other ways as well. A likely cause of some virus transmission is insufficient application of recommended biosecurity practices. For example, APHIS has observed sharing of equipment between an infected and non-infected farm, employees moving between infected and non-infected farms, lack of cleaning and disinfection of vehicles moving between farms, and reports of rodents or small wild birds inside poultry houses."
Airborne transmission may also continue to play a role, USDA added.
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