Bird flu confirmed at egg-laying chicken farm in South Dakota with 1.3M birds; first in state

IndustriesAssociated Press

South Dakota has its first case of bird flu at an egg-laying chicken farm that holds 1.3 million of the birds.

Dakota Layers says it was told by the state veterinarian Wednesday that one of its nine barns tested positive for avian influenza.

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Officials are still waiting to determine whether it's the highly pathogenic H5N2 strain that has led to the loss of more than 32 million turkeys and chickens in the Midwest since March. Almost 500,000 turkeys in South Dakota have died from it.

The chickens at Dakota Layers will be euthanized once the disease is confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Dakota Layers' marketing director Tracy Ramsdell says the operation is one of the largest in the state. About 70 percent of its eggs go to California.