Chances are that families who decide to visit a zoo this weekend won’t see penguins, flamingos or any other birds. That’s because zoologists like those at the Dallas and Fort Worth zoos are taking the threat of avian flu very seriously.
Already, millions of chickens and turkeys have been killed outside Texas in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease. But recent tests have shown that avian flu is present in a population of commercial pheasants here in Texas.
Audrey McElroy is interim head and professor of poultry science at Texas A&M University. She says at the moment, we just need to be careful of cross contamination with water fowl. These migrating birds specifically have the highest chance of carrying the disease. And though the threat of transmission to humans is not a concern right now, economic fallout from significant commercial poultry losses would be disastrous for the industry internationally.
Listen to the full interview in the player above.