Chickens to be euthanized after bird flu outbreak on Tyson-contracted farm

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa. Eggs have gone from record high prices at the height of the bird flu crisis in 2015 to the cheapest prices in a decade recent weeks. It's because chicken barns restocked with young hens laying lots of eggs boosted supply but demand hasn't come back as strong. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Agriculture officials say a Tyson-contracted chicken breeding facility in south-central Tennessee has been hit by a strain of bird flu, according to government and company officials.

Tyson Foods, which is the largest meat producer in the United States said in a statement it’s working with officials to contain the virus by euthanizing 73,500 chickens on the farm.

The state Agriculture Department says in a news release that tests confirmed the presence of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, or HPAI, at a facility in Lincoln County. The facility alerted the state veterinarian’s office on Friday about an increase in chicken deaths.

The facility and about 30 other poultry farms within about a six-mile radius of the site are under quarantine.

Tyson has not released the facility’s name.

Officials said HPAI poses no risk to the food supply, and no affected chickens entered the food chain.

The statement says the most recent U.S. detection of HPAI was in January 2016 in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana.

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