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Apr 24, 2015

14:52:56 GMT--Biological Hazard - North-America - USA

EDIS Number: BH-20150422-47901-USA
Date / time: 22/04/2015 14:34:06 [UTC]
Event: Biological Hazard
Area: North-America
Country: USA
State/County: State of Minnesota
Location: Hawley
Number of Deads: N/A
Number of Injured: N/A
Number of Infected: N/A
Number of Missing: N/A
Number of Affected: N/A
Number of Evacuated: N/A
Damage level: N/A


It may be too late for the Red River Valley to contain the avian flu. Valley News Live has learned a farm just southeast of Hawley, Minnesota may have to destroy hundreds of thousands of chickens after initial test results come back positive for avian flu. We first met Amon Baer nearly two years ago when summer's heat took a toll on his chickens. Now, he'd rather take the heat over what he's looking at, a presumed positive test for avian flu. "We've been very vigilant in trying to monitor the birds and watch them for any signs of disease," Baer said. Baer said he works with around 300,000 chickens on his farm every day. He noticed Monday something wasn't right with about 30 of them. "I know what a healthy bird looks like and these looked a little sick, under the weather, breathing difficulty, a little foaming from the mouth," Baer said. What Baer doesn't know is how some of his birds came down with the virus, though wild waterfowl are known for carrying it. "We don't have wild geese or ducks in the barn. I don't know how it would have transferred from the waterfowl into the building," Baer said. Now the building will have to be emptied. All 300,000 chickens will likely be wiped out completely once the final test comes back. A livelihood put on hold. "It's very deflating. I've been in the business for 50 years and we've never had a disease outbreak on the farm to speak of that amounted to anything," Baer said. A hit to the Baer Brothers Farm that was luckily caught early. "They have a 48 hour period. None of the eggs that would have been quarantined here have gotten into any customers hands," Baer said. The USDA and APHIS will be out on the farm Wednesday to work out a plan to compost all of the birds. Baer said a final test result is expected then as well.

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