SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Prices for poultry and eggs are going up at the store, namely because of bird flu.
The highly contagious avian influenza has infected over 425,000 birds in the state. But the Department of Agriculture said all poultry and eggs you find at the store are still safe to eat.
“There is not a cure so to speak for the birds who receive avian influenza,” Missouri DoA spokesperson Christi Miller said. “It is a disease that does impact and is lethal for birds. So those birds are taken care of, they are depopulated and they do not go into the food supplies. And we just encourage people to continue to eat poultry products and always cook and clean and take care of poultry products like they always do.”
The bird flu is transmitted through the air. Miller said waterfowls are migrating because of the temperature changes.
She said waterfowl are migrating because of the temperature changes. When the birds come back, they bring the virus with them.
“Missouri has a nice poultry industry in our state,” Miller said. “We’re very fortunate. We have a lot of producers who raise commercial poultry, whether that’s chickens or turkeys.”
There were two outbreaks at commercial production sites in Lawrence County. There was also an outbreak in Dade and Jasper County.
Once the birds are removed, folks come in and clean the area to make sure the virus is completely gone.
“There’s a protocol for making sure that the virus is gone from those from those carcasses so that then the building can be cleaned out, [and] can be disinfected,” Miller said. “It’s important that those buildings are able to be used again for the next round of birds without fear of those birds getting the virus again.”
Miller said this process can take a few weeks. But, this bird flu is affecting more than just poultry producers.
“It also impacts down to those grain farmers who raise the product that feed those birds so it’s impactful for all of agriculture,” Miller said.
With no outbreaks this past week, the DoA is hopeful the virus is finally out of the state. But, Miller warns that you should still take precautions if you have birds of your own.
“It’s a virus that transmits very easily, so just be very mindful if you have birds of keeping your biosecurity,” Miller said. “If you have a backyard flock, keep them and keep them in, contained as best you can, be very careful of when you go to another location who might also have poultry,” Miller said. “We encourage people as you go in and out with your with your flock to to change your shoes to as best you can change your clothing so you’re not taking that virus from perhaps one building to another or from your neighbors birds back to your birds.”