The country’s fourth largest producer of chickens for meat and the third largest producer of turkeys is responding to the ongoing bird flu scare by shutting down all shows and sales of live poultry beginning in mid-August. North Carolina State Veterinarian Doug Meckes says the move is necessary to thwart a potential outbreak of bird flu in the Southern U.S., where no cases of the disease have been reported yet.

With a rising death toll of some 50 million birds nationally — only a tiny fraction of which actually had bird flu; the rest were slaughtered out of “precaution” — the ongoing bird flu crisis is having a significant impact on the U.S. poultry industry. If media rhetoric continues as it has, many more birds are likely to be put down before health authorities abandon their reactionary approach and start considering a more rational plan of action that doesn’t involve destroying the entire poultry industry. MORE