July 12, 2016

Questions linger after avian flu outbreak

As bird flu spread across the Upper Midwest in spring of 2015, Don Nelson was managing a Nicollet County chicken farm that handled about 850,000 birds a year.
Though he was managing a flock amid one of the biggest animal health emergencies in history, Nelson said he didn’t panic.  However, “you certainly were very much afraid.”  If even one bird on the farm came down with the virus, the whole flock – about 320,000 chickens at any one time – would have to be euthanized. Nelson chained off the driveway to bar unauthorized visitors and stepped up farm cleanliness. At the same time, life had to go on. “If it hit, it hit,” he said. “You still had to run the business.”  Read More

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