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Michigan agriculture officials watching rise in Avian flu

steve carmody
Michigan Radio
Almost 50 million domestic birds were killed in 2015 as part of an effort to contain the outbreak in the U.S.

State officials are directing Michigan poultry producers to follow their bird flu prevention procedures.

There have been a rising number of reports of Avian influenza outbreaks in Europe and Asia this year.  

In Tennessee, poultry farmers are having to kill tens of thousands of chickens this week, after bird flu was discovered in a flock there.

There have been no cases of bird flu in Michigan this year.  

Jennifer Holton is a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. She says the state is working with Michigan chicken, turkey and other producers to reduce exposure to potentially infected wild and domestic fowl.

“We have never had a case of high path avian influenza in domestic poultry in the better part of a decade in the state of Michigan…Knock on wood,” says Holton, as she taps on her desk.

Holton insists this is not a “food safety concern”, adding people should continue to buy chicken, turkey and eggs. 

There are currently no plans to cancel poultry shows at county fairs this year.  Shows were cancelled in 2015 amid concerns raised during a national avian flu outbreak.  Almost 50 million domestic birds were killed in 2015 as part of an effort to contain the outbreak.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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