A new federal bird flu control policy says ventilation systems must be shut off as a means of suffocating entire poultry barns if other methods of euthanasia cannot be completed within 24 hours.
It was among several new policies released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday. The policies were developed in response to the H5N2 virus that led to the death of 48 million chickens and turkeys this spring.
USDA officials say the policies are designed to keep the virus from spreading in commercial barns if it returns this autumn.
This spring, chickens were euthanized with gas and turkeys were killed with an oxygen-depleting foam.
The Human Society of the United States immediately condemned the plan, saying the USDA and poultry industry must find a better way.