Nebraska Has Ordered a State of Emergency Over Bird Flu

Over 33 million birds in 16 states have now been affected by the pathogen

Governor Pete Rickets ordered a state of emergency Thursday after Nebraska’s Department of Agriculture confirmed the highly contagious H5N2 avian flu virus had infected a second farm.

In this May 11, 2015 photo provided by John Gaps III, men in hazardous materials suits load dead poultry to be buried at Rose Acre Farms, Inc., just west of Winterset, Iowa.In this May 11, 2015 photo provided by John Gaps III, men in hazardous materials suits load dead poultry to be buried at Rose Acre Farms, Inc., just west of Winterset, Iowa.

The declaration opens up emergency funding in the hopes it can help contain the pathogen that now threatens what is, according to local officials, a $1.1 billion poultry industry in Nebraska.

“While not a human health threat, the discovery of avian influenza is a serious situation for our poultry sector, and I want to provide responders with access to all appropriate tools to address it,” said Governor Rickets in a statement.

The proclamation follows similar actions taken in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. More than 33 million birds in 16 states have now been affected by the outbreak which originated in a small backyard flock in Oregon.

The outbreak has hit American’s pocketbook as the Associated Press reports the price of large eggs in the Midwest rose by 17 percent since mid-April and other price increases are being seen in turkey, boneless breast meat and mixing eggs

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