Bozrah, CT

Amid Historic Bird Flu Outbreak and Egg Shortages, Massive Fire Erupts at Hillandale Egg Farm

Eden Reports
Photo byNBC Connecticut

On Saturday afternoon, multiple fire crews were summoned to attend to a raging fire that broke out at Hillandale Farms, an egg farm situated on Schwartz Road in Bozrah, Connecticut, according to NBC Connecticut.

Currently, fire crews from various towns, including Colchester, Salem, and Lebanon, are actively working to extinguish a large-scale fire.

The Colchester Fire Department has reported that the fire has also caused water supply issues, and additional water tankers have been called to the scene.

It is unclear at this time if anyone was injured or trapped inside the chicken coop where the fire originated.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Norwich Fire Department posted a video showing significant damage to a chicken coop.

The smoke from the blaze was visible from Route 2 near exit 24.
Photo byAlex Lebon

However, some individuals have raised questions about the timing of the incident, as it occurred during ongoing egg shortage issues.

It is worth noting that the price of eggs has risen over 66% in the past year due to an ongoing egg shortage.

New data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reveals that avian influenza (H5N1) has resulted in the deaths of over 60 million birds in the United States this year, breaking the previous record for the disease set in 2015.

To control the spread of the disease, which has a nearly 60% percent fatality rate in poultry, millions of birds have been culled.

It's important to note that, as time goes on, the bird flu is likely to become more contagious but less life-threatening

To prevent the spread of the disease, farmers have been forced to destroy entire flocks of chickens if just one bird tests positive for the virus.

As of Tuesday, the average price for eggs was $4.33 per dozen, according to food market data company Urner Barry.

This represents a significant increase from last year when the price was around $1.33.

Experts from research firm IRI predict that it could take several months for egg production to return to normal levels.

Opponents of bird culling and animal welfare advocates argue that the same logic should apply to birds as it does to humans when it comes to dealing with illness. They claim that just as people are allowed to recover from the flu without being killed, birds should also be given a chance to recover rather than being culled. They believe that many birds' lives could have been saved if a different approach had been taken.

The method used to kill these birds has sparked much controversy, with veterinarians and animal welfare activists calling for an end to the use of the ventilation shutdown method.

This method kills birds by cutting off their airflow and raising temperatures to lethal levels.

Some workers have described it as "roasting animals alive".

This is a significant change from the last bird flu outbreak in 2015, where 50 million farmed birds in the U.S. were killed primarily through carbon dioxide poisoning or suffocation with firefighting foam.

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