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An unwanted milestone: Number of MN farms hit by bird flu passes 100

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The bird flu outbreak in Minnesota has passed an unfortunate landmark – with the number of farms affected by the virus passing 100.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health on Friday confirmed that there have been "presumptive positive" cases of the H5N2 virus on four more commercial turkey farms in the state.

It brings the total number of affected farms to 102 across 23 counties, with the number of turkeys and chickens killed either by the virus or from being euthanized standing at more than 8.3 million.

There have already been warnings that the outbreak, which has killed tens of millions of birds across the Midwest, will send meat and egg prices up, and could have an impact on the Thanksgiving turkey supply.

If the latest four are confirmed, a turkey farm will become the first recorded case of avian flu in Blue Earth county, with the others found in Renville (6th case), Brown (3rd) and Kandiyohi (38th) counties.

Quarantine lifted in Lac Qui Parle

There is better news for 14 backyard flock owners in Lac Qui Parle County, who have been told that the quarantines placed on their birds has been lifted.

The US Department of Agriculture imposed the quarantine on March, when the first case of avian flu in the county (which was only the second statewide) was confirmed.

However, the affected turkey farm in the county remains under quarantine, and will remain so until the end of a "21-day down time period" which follows the disinfecting and cleaning of its barns.

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