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December 13, 2023
Cal-Maine Foods announced Dec. 12 that one of its facilities in Kansas has temporarily closed after testing positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The company said approximately 684,000 laying hens, or approximately 1.6% of the company’s total flock, have been affected.
The closure was necessary to undergo necessary protocols to depopulate the flock, but Cal-Maine said it is working to secure production from other facilities to minimize disruption to its customers.
The company said there have been no positive tests for HPAI at any other Cal-Maine Foods locations to date.
“Cal-Maine Foods believes it has implemented and continues to maintain robust biosecurity programs across all its locations,” the company said. “Additional strict protocols are in place designed to prevent exposure from the Kansas facility to other locations, including the company’s nearby layer complex which houses approximately one million hens. The company continues to work closely with federal, state and local government officials and focused industry groups to mitigate the risk of future outbreaks and effectively manage the response."
Last week, Post Holdings reported that approximately 10% of its controlled supply of eggs has=d been impacted by HPAI. Michael Foods’ third-party contracted egg-laying flocks in Iowa and Ohio recently tested positive for avian influenza, resulting in the depopulation of 4.2 million layers, the company said.
Over 72.5 million birds in the U.S. have now been affected by the 2022-2023 HPAI outbreak, USDA APHIS numbers show.
Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.
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