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Agriculture Officials To Kill Up To 5,000 Birds In Washington State Due To Avian Flu Outbreak

Anna King
Northwest News Network
In this file photo Randy Wilson with the USDA holds a duck just after testing it for avian flu in Kennewick, Wash. on January 12, 2015.

Government agriculture officials will kill up to 5,000 ducks, geese, chickens, pheasants and turkeys due to a bird flu outbreak at a hunting operation Washington's Okanogan county.

About 40 birds at a game farm in Riverside, Washington, were ill over the weekend and tested positive for bird flu. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Washington announced it would kill birds from the flock and establish a quarantine around it.

The birds are used for private hunting excursions and retriever training. The flock represents the largest number of birds the state has had to test and possibly kill during 2015 bird flu outbreaks.

Washington state has now lifted a quarantine in the Tri-Cities but one in Port Angeles remains. No new cases have been found in either location.

An outbreak in California led to 146,000 turkeys being killed at a commercial operation. Several countries including China have banned poultry and eggs from the United States.

Editor's note: this story has been updated to reflect new information from the USDA and Washington Department of Agriculture and differs from the audio as first broadcast.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.