The US continues to battle Avian Influenza, with 15 States now reporting outbreaks of the Highly Pathogen H5N2 virus within domestic poultry, and another 5 reporting the presence of the disease in wild birds. Four more outbreaks were confirmed in the last week. Some States are taking drastic action to combat the disease – Indiana is reportedly training 300 prisoners to cull infected birds.
The size of the outbreak is almost certainly going to have an impact on US production and trade of poultry meat during 2015, and beyond, with egg prices reported to be rising as a result of the crisis, and the USDA are forecasting that poultry exports during 2015 will be down significantly. Although poultry meat production appears not to have declined during the first quarter of the year, broiler meat exports are down by 11%, and exports for 2015 are expected to be down by 6.8%, mostly due to the closure of export markets.
With the threat to human health from eating properly cooked poultry products considered to be minimal, domestic poultry consumption has risen, and reported to up by 5.9% in Q1, and expected to be up by 6.7% in Q2.