PoultryWorld: Avian influenza hits US egg producer, again


The largest producer of shell eggs in the US, Cal-Maine Foods, has once again been hit by an outbreak of avian influenza.


One of the company’s facilities in Parmer County, Texas, tested positive for HPAI, resulting in depopulation of around 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets, or approximately 3.6% of the total flock op Cal-Maine Foods.

In December 2023, the listed company reported an avian influenza outbreak at its premises and reported that its facilities in Kansas tested positive for HPAI, affecting approximately 684,000 laying hens, or about 1.6% of the company’s total flock.

Production at the facility in Parmer Country, Texas, has temporarily ceased as the company follows the protocols prescribed by the USDA. Cal-Maine Foods is working to secure production from other facilities to minimise disruption to its customers and 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.

The company remains dedicated to robust biosecurity programmes across its locations; however, no farm is immune from HPAI. HPAI is still present in the wild bird population and the extent of possible future outbreaks, with heightened risk during the migration seasons, cannot be predicted, the company says.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the human health risk to the US public from HPAI viruses is considered to be low. Also, according to the USDA, HPAI cannot be transmitted through safely handled and properly cooked eggs. There is no known risk related to HPAI associated with eggs that are currently in the market and no eggs have been recalled.

The APHIS division of the USDA and individual states track and publicly report individual incidents of HPAI by location. The Company will provide updated information in its next quarterly report to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and does not expect to provide interim updates unless material.

Ruud PeysInternational journalist

Inloggen op de ledenportal