- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

JACKSON, Neb. (AP) - A private Nebraska landfill won’t take dead chickens and turkeys killed in Iowa due to bird flu after environmental officials raised concerns that transporting the carcasses could expose poultry farms along the route to the disease.

Owner Leonard Gill told the Sioux City Journal (https://bit.ly/1IvT0D2 ) that he had considered allowing the dead birds at his landfill near Jackson, but decided against it after Nebraska officials said they were worried about the potential for spreading the virus into the state.

State officials were apprehensive about moving the birds because they could put at risk farms along or near the route from Iowa to the landfill, said spokesman Brian McManus for the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality. That’s why the agency strongly recommends on-site burial of such carcasses, he said.

Federal authorities have been in discussions with a number of landfills about accepting some of the growing number of birds that must be euthanized to prevent other poultry from being infected. None have been buried at a landfill so far, said spokesman Kevin Baskins for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Other disposal methods, including on-site burials, composting and incineration, have been used for the dead birds.

The number of Iowa chickens lost because of the virus exceeds 26 million. Public health officials have stressed that the virus poses little risk to humans.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, https://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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