Layoffs Ordered at Huge Chicken Farm Hit by Bird Flu
RENVILLE, Minn. (AP) — The largest Minnesota farm to be hit by bird flu is temporarily laying off 39 full-time employees.
The outbreak at the Rembrandt Enterprises egg farm in Renville was confirmed last week. All 2 million chickens there will have to be killed to ensure the complete eradication of the H5N2 virus. The Spirit Lake, Iowa-based company said Thursday that the layoffs will start around June 1. While Rembrandt plans to restart the operation, it says it can't predict the date.
Rembrandt Enterprises is owned by Glen Taylor, who also owns the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. The company is one of the largest egg producers in the U.S. It had to destroy 5.5 million chickens on its Rembrandt, Iowa, farm after bird flu turned up there last month.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has notched six straight days without a new bird flu case. And though state officials aren't ready to say the outbreak is over, they're beginning to stand down.
The first case in the Midwest was confirmed in March at a Minnesota turkey farm, and the virus then spread to 88 farms in the top turkey producing state. But new cases have fallen off sharply and the focus is turning toward getting farms back into production.
To be sure, the disease remains a threat. Iowa, the chief egg producer in the U.S., has reported several new probable cases this week.
But things have settled down enough that Minnesota's Board of Animal Health stopped issuing daily updates unless it has new cases.