NBC: Chicken Farms Shield U.S. Poultry from Avian Flu

     Rather than an incubator of bird flu that could doom the masses, U.S. chicken farms might actually help isolate American poultry from infection with avian flu.

     Correspondent Tom Costello reported on the April 23 NBC Nightly News that widespread avian flu is highly unlikely among American chickens, given the closed environment most are raised in.

     Some 99 percent of the chickens consumed in America are raised inside massive houses that hold up to 30,000 at a time. And so far, bird flu is only carried by wild birds that could never get inside, Costello noted. From here these chickens will go to processing plants, then to dinner tables, really never having seen the light of day and, for that matter, never being exposed to wild birds, the correspondent added while walking through a chicken coop in a protective suit.

     Costello also reported that the National Chicken Council, an industry group for the poultry industry, is urging blood tests on chicken farms to allow for quicker detection and destruction of infected birds.

     In March, the Business & Media Institute noted how the media have hyped fears of avian flu coming to the United States.