NEW YORK POST:
Arizona officials have confirmed the first cases in the Southwest of a bird flu that has led to the deaths of 37 million birds from commercial farms in the central and eastern U.S.
The disease was spotted after tests by federal wildlife officials in three wild cormorants that had been found dead in a park in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona Game and Fish officials announced this week.
The disease has not yet been found in any domestic birds or in commercial operations, the agency said.
But it is a concern, according to Glenn Hickman, president and CEO of Hickman Family Farms, one of the largest egg producers in the Southwest. Hickman operates four chicken ranches in Arizona, one in California and two in Colorado.
The company has stopped any visits to its farms and doublechecked its biosecurity program, which is designed to prevent its approximately 2 million chickens from being infected. Its chickens are kept in barns that are secured so that wild birds can’t enter, and any people or tools that enter are disinfected.