Posted May 1, 2015 10:35 PM ET; Last updated May 28, 2015 8:30 PM ET
An outbreak of a particularly infectious version of the bird flu, believed to come initially from wild ducks and geese, has spread into 15 US states and two Canadian provinces, requiring the mass slaughter of egg-laying chickens and turkeys in particular.
That has turned into an 80 percent surge in the wholesale price of eggs, and a more modest hike in turkey meat costs, which could last for the rest of the year even if the flu outbreak can be successfully contained, according to industry officials.
The midwest state of Iowa, the largest US egg producer, has seen some 25 million birds, mostly chickens for egg production, killed.
ScienceMore: AFP Bird Flu Farming Agriculture
US farmers have been forced to kill nearly 40 million birds because of avian flu
PAUL HANDLEY, AFP
MAY 22, 2015, 9:03 PM
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Bird flu has been identified at five new sites in Iowa, including a commercial egg-laying operation in Buena Vista County that houses an estimated 5.5 million birds, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said on Thursday.
If highly pathogenic avian influenza is confirmed at the egg-laying site by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the total number of U.S. cases would surpass 20 million birds, the most in U.S. history
Iowa reports more 'probable' bird flu cases
April 30, 2015
Reporting by Julie Ingwersen