9th Minnesota turkey farm hit by deadly bird flu; Jennie-O operation has 310,000 birds

MINNEAPOLIS – Federal authorities have confirmed that a ninth Minnesota turkey farm has been hit by a form of bird flu that’s deadly to poultry.

This time, the outbreak is on a large Jennie-O-Turkey Store operation in central Minnesota that has 310,000 turkeys. Jennie-O, a division of Hormel, says it’s the first company-owned facility to test positive for the virus.

Minnesota Board of Animal health spokeswoman Bethany Hahn says the operation has 12 barns on the site. She says the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with the producer on what to do with the turkeys in the other barns.

Before this discovery, Minnesota turkey farms had lost about 373,000 birds to the outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu strain. Officials say the risk to the public is low.