73K chickens euthanized at Tyson Foods farm to prevent spread of bird flu

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – New information was given during a press briefing Monday about a Tennessee farm that produces chickens for Tyson Foods.

Federal officials ordered workers to euthanize the flock of over 73,500 chickens after they identified an outbreak of the lethal avian influenza, or bird flu.

The Department of Agriculture said the case of H7 Avian Influenza was found at the farm located in Lincoln County. This is the first time the bird flu has been found in commercial poultry this year, and the birds were euthanized to prevent it from spreading.

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Judy Wood has owed a poultry farm in Carthage for seven years. She told News 2 she panicked when she learned that the highly contagious avian flu hit poultry in Tennessee.

“Oh my god, what am I going to do. We owe the bank a ton of money and if I can’t sell chickens what am I going to do,” said Judy Wood, the owner of Poultry Hollow Hatchery.

If the avian flu that hit Lincoln County were to spread to her chickens, it would wipe out her business.

Monday, the Department of Agriculture assured News 2 the livestock infected with the avian flu has been depopulated.

All chickens within a 10-mile radius of the farm that housed the infected birds have also tested negative for the virus.

“We are encouraged by that, but testing will be ongoing and we will be in this thing for the long haul,” said Dr. Charles Hatcher the Tennessee State Veterinarian.

Wood told News 2 she contacted the Department of Agriculture to find out what steps she needed to take to protect her livestock.

“Just watch to make sure there is no illness, there are no chickens dying or that sort of thing and we are fine, all of our chickens are healthy as can be,” said Wood.

Click here to view Tyson Foods’ Statement.