First reports of a new COVID variant (I think I went about 10 days without typing COVID, it felt good) then worries increase about possible restrictions looming on the horizon, and now we get a pretty serious case of bird flu right here in the Stateline.

A recent order to cull about 2.75 million "egg-laying" chickens will bring the total number of chickens destroyed up to over 6.5 million since the state started fighting the outbreak of disease back in February.

NOTE: I know the story says egg-laying and I attached a picture of a rooster but it was the closest thing I could find to a surprised chicken picture that I could legally use. You get the idea.

Obligatory:

That's perverse!

The most recent flock to be culled was from Jefferson County, Wisconsin, Fort Atkinson is the largest city in Jefferson County. Birds were shipped to Aimes, Iowa (shouldn't the University of Wisconsin be able to handle this?) where they were positively identified with Avian Flu, that's when the USDA ordered them to be destroyed and said that the birds would not enter the food system.

Bird Flu outbreaks have also been detected in Indiana and Iowa but no symptoms have been detected in humans.

There's actually not a lot to worry about from a public safety angle,

Reuters - U.S. officials said bird flu is not an immediate public health concern and that birds from infected flocks will not enter the food system. No human cases have been detected in the United States.

There can be however, concern economically (and morally I guess if you don't want to see millions of chickens put to death.) The last time the US saw a massive bird flu outbreak was in 2015. That outbreak caused the death of 50 million birds and cost the government an estimated $1 billion.

We're not to a billion dollars worth of dead birds yet, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on.

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