An outbreak of avian flu last year made eggs increasingly expensive and difficult to find. According to the Consumer Price Index, nationwide egg prices rose 60% in one year. Washington farmers and egg suppliers say shortages are going to continue until avian bird flu is eradicated.
The high price of eggs results from shortages. Avian flu is the major reason, because so many birds have been killed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that over 58 million birds have been affected in 47 states.
To control the potential spread of avian flu, the Washington State Department of Agriculture established policies for quarantining and killing chickens. Farmers have been forced to destroy entire flocks if even a single bird tests positive.
John Scott Meschke, an environmental microbiologist, says “Climate change has altered the flight paths of many bird species. As a result, the species of birds that come to Seattle have become unpredictable, and these exotic birds bring more potential viruses with them.” Over the past 40 years, more than 60% of North American bird species have shifted their ranges northward, by an average of 35 miles.
Meschke says “People should put more attention on how to control avian bird flu.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture is monitoring avian flu and developing guidelines for controlling outbreaks in commercial poultry operations. These efforts cannot control this illness in wild bird populations and among birds that do not appear to be sick.
Source: The egg shortage won't end anytime soon. Here's why.
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