Iowa governor declares state of emergency in response to bird flu; 4 more farms infected

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has declared a state of emergency due to a bird flu outbreak that's forcing farms to kill more than 17 million chickens and turkeys.

Branstad's proclamation will remain in effect until May 31 unless it's terminated earlier.

The proclamation activates disaster response and recovery procedures for Iowa's homeland security and emergency management programs. It authorizes use of state money, supplies and equipment to track and monitor bird flu, establish restrictions around affected farms and rapidly detect cases.

It also allows more time to dispose of poultry carcasses.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says it's important to step up the response as the disease spreads.

Northey announced four more farms have been infected — three turkey operations and a 1 million-chicken egg-laying operation in Madison County.

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