Avian Flu ravaged industrial poultry farms this year, especially in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In all, about 200 farms in 15 states were affected by this year’s outbreak, costing U.S. egg and poultry exporters more than $380 million, said the Poultry & Egg Export Council.
The outbreak was no picnic for the birds, either. In Iowa, 30 million hens and 1.5 million turkeys were euthanized because of the H5N2 virus. Nationwide, the flu killed about 50 million birds
Avian Flu affects poultry farm workers, who lose their jobs. And consumers, who pay more for eggs.
Is the solution to develop and use more vaccines?
Definitely not, says Reginaldo Haslett-Marroquin, COO of the Main Street Project, a large-scale organic regenerative poultry project. Haslett-Marroquin argues that we should focus more on prevention, and less on a cure. That means replacing today’s poultry factory farms with an alternative organic, regenerative model, where healthier birds, with healthier immune systems are—unlike their unfortunate feathered friends in factory farms—able to resist disease.
It turns out that when it comes to Avian Flu, we haven’t been asking the right question, which is: Which came first? The diseased chicken? Or the chicken disease?