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TAYLORSVILLE — The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food reported two new cases of avian influenza in Utah birds in November.
The department identified cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a flock of backyard chickens in Utah County and a flock of game birds in Iron County. The department said all birds at the locations have been "depopulated and surveillance will continue in surrounding areas to prevent further spread of the disease."
This has been the deadliest year for avian flu on record, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which released data last week showing that more than 50.5 million birds have been killed by the disease. A recent outbreak at a Nebraska farm forced officials to kill nearly 2 million chickens.
Avian flu can be fatal for birds, and flocks are often culled to control the spread of disease after a bird tests positive.
The U.S. outbreak, which began in February, has contributed to rising prices for eggs and turkey meat. Turkey farms make up more than 70% of infected farms this year, and 85% of cases have been traced to wild birds.
Utah agriculture officials are asking domestic bird owners to keep birds locked inside enclosures to avoid contact with migratory birds. Flocks should also not share water, feed or grazing sources with wild birds.
In October, Utah reported six additional cases of avian flu on turkey farms.