NC farmers start euthanizing 1.5M chickens amid pandemic

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Chickens (Photo: aimee rivers / CC BY-SA 2.0)

RALEIGH, NC (The News & Observer) — Coronavirus outbreaks at meat processing plants are forcing North Carolina farmers to euthanize 1.5 million chickens, according to a state official.

Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon told The News & Observer on Friday that this is the first time during the pandemic that North Carolina farmers have had to euthanize their animals.

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Reardon said roughly a third of the 1.5 million chickens already had been killed.

Agriculture officials said Thursday that 2,006 workers in 26 processing plants across the state have tested positive for coronavirus.