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US - HPAI not expected to influence holiday turkey availability?

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  • US - HPAI not expected to influence holiday turkey availability?

    HPAI not expected to influence holiday turkey availability

    10.12.2022By Crystal Futrell

    KANSAS CITY, MO. — Since February, a viscous and enduring stain of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus has devastated nearly 250 commercial flocks and close to 300 backyard flocks, resulting in the destruction of over 47 million birds, according to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture. Of the commercial flock total, about 70% of the cases have been turkey flocks, leading to the culling of more than 7 million turkeys and causing some to wonder if this year’s Thanksgiving table will be able to feature the holiday’s favorite protein centerpiece. Industry insiders say there’s no need to worry, but some preparation might be necessary.

    “Consumers wanting to purchase a frozen turkey will be able to find one,” reassured Beth Breeding, spokesperson for the National Turkey Federation (NTF), an organization that advocates for America’s turkey industry.
    Since the outbreak started in late February, nearly 170 commercial turkey flocks have been impacted. Of all the bird species involved, turkey flocks seem to be the most vulnerable having claimed the vast majority of total flock cases. Breeding attributed this circumstance as a characteristic of how turkeys are produced.

    “It definitely takes a lot longer to raise a turkey and get it to market weight than it does a broiler, so that creates a longer time period that turkeys are on the farm and increases their opportunities for exposure,” Breeding explained.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

  • #2 the last week I have been in my large chain grocery store and there have been zero turkeys available for purchase.