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Bird disease found at Cargill Inc. poultry facility in Polk County

Posted online
Last edited 2:33 p.m., April 4, 2011

The Missouri Department of Agriculture is investigating a Polk County poultry facility where a routine test turned up findings of a case of low pathogenic Avian Influenza.

MDA marketing and new media specialist Christine Tew referred calls to Minneapolis, Minn.-based Cargill Inc.

Mike Martin, Cargill Corporate Affairs director of media relations, said the poultry facility is a privately owned farming operation, which is contracted to manage Cargill poultry.

He said at this time, the farm has been quarantined, with access to the site being restricted.

Officials said additional tests are being performed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, to authenticate the disease. The MDA, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and Missouri's state veterinarian and public health veterinarian are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to monitor the situation, according to a news release.

The affected birds remain under quarantine, and officials are testing flocks within a six-mile radius.

The potentially deadly Avian Influenza is highly contagious among birds, including chickens, ducks and turkeys. While Avian Influenza can affect humans, the threat of infection is low for most people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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