PETA wants to put up bird flu billboard in Willmar urging people to go vegan

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Animal rights campaign group PETA wants to erect a billboard in Willmar urging people to go vegan in the wake of the outbreak in bird flu in Minnesota.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced Thursday it is looking to lease billboard space in the area, and want to show an image of two chicken bodies hanging by their feet in front of a bloody wall.

The slogan on the sign will read: "Bird Flu: The writing is on the Wall. Go Vegan."

Willmar is the administrative center of Kandiyohi County, which is proving to be the center of the avian flu epidemic sweeping across turkey farms in Minnesota.

By the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's latest count, Kandiyohi County is home to 26 poultry farms that were found to have flocks infected with the H5N2 virus, the latest of which was confirmed on Friday.

PETA says the billboard is intended" to remind people that crowded poultry farms are breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria and viruses like avian flu." It plans to erect another one in Sioux City, Iowa.

"You’ll never catch the flu from a piece of tofu, but when tens of thousands of birds are crammed into filthy sheds and surrounded by their own waste, diseases spread and even mutate quickly," PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman alleges.

Spokesman David Perle told the West Central Tribune that it is contacting billboard owners in the area seeking to lease the space and at this stage a contract has not yet been arranged.

Two more farms confirmed with avian flu

Minnesota DPS has confirmed that two more turkey farms have been infected with bird flu, one in Kandiyohi County and one in Meeker County.

It brings the total number of farms infected up to 72 in 19 counties. Prior to the latest two being announced, almost 4 million turkeys have been affected by the disease, and have died either as a result of the infection or as a result of being euthanized to contain its spread.

The DPS has re-affirmed that there have been no human infections as a result and that there is no risk to public health or food safety.

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