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Officials Think Barnyard Separation will Prevent Disease

Officials Think Barnyard Separation will Prevent Disease

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PAYSON, Utah (AP) -- An outbreak of a severe food-borne illness earlier this year is prompting agriculture officials to consider separating some barnyard animals.

About 60 people became ill with campylobacter in March after drinking raw milk from a Payson dairy and prompted a consumer health warning.

Now, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is making a move to prohibit dairy farmers from allowing chickens to roam freely among their cows.

Utah County health officials traced the illness to Lars Woolsey's dairy where he said he likes to have the chickens and chicks out for the families that come to buy milk.

State health department epidemiologist John Amadio says the bacterium that causes campylobacter is carried by fowl. He says the department suspects the bacteria were transferred to the cows and goats when the animals came in contact with the feces of chickens, which roam the farm freely.

Agriculture department officials also investigated Woolsey's dairy and noted the chickens but say he was complying with all current health regulations.

Information from: Deseret Morning News

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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