Highly pathogenic avian influenza – bird flu – has now affected producers in more than a dozen U.S. states, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
USDA plotted the outbreak in an interactive map.
The virus is affecting consumers and agribusinesses, such as Cargill, as well. On May 30, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported:
If you’re partial to McDonald’s Egg McMuffins, you’ve likely eaten a Cargill egg product.
Cargill doesn’t own hens, instead buying its eggs. But three of its four U.S. egg operations — one in Mason City, Iowa, and one each in Monticello and Big Lake in Minnesota — are in the middle of the bird flu zone.
The company said that the bird flu has affected several of its egg suppliers but declined to comment further.
The USDA map shows affected states currently include Arkansas, Missouri, California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Monsanto, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Although completely surrounded by affected states on three sides, producers in Illinois have yet to be affected, according to reports.
The U.S. poultry industry is the world’s largest.
In 2012, America’s farmers produced about $24.82 billion in broilers, $7.85 billion in eggs, $5.45 billion in turkeys and $79 million in chickens.
In 2013, that production generally increased to about $30.68 billion in broilers, $8.5 billion in eggs, $4.84 billion in turkeys and $88 million in chickens.
Harvest Public Media also reported on how the bird flu has hurt the egg industry and caused egg prices to skyrocket.
The USDA map also shows which countries and major trade partners have banned U.S. poultry. That list of countries includes major trade partner China, which bought exports valued at more than $150 billion last year.
MAP: The spread of bird flu
An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the number of birds slaughtered related to highly pathogenic avian influenza. The map depicts how many birds are slaughtered in each state because of regular production and not bird flu.
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