Jefferson County officials respond to concerns about dumping of dead chickens

NOW: Jefferson County officials respond to concerns about dumping of dead chickens

PALMYRA, Wis. (CBS 58) --- Less than two weeks following a confirmed case of the avian bird flu, Cold Spring Egg Farm plans to address the issues that are in motion.

"We have quite a large population of chicken producers in the state so we understand that that's a possibility with us on a regular basis," said Donna Haugom with Jefferson County Emergency Management.

Jefferson County officials say bio security is always top of mind as Wisconsin is one of the leading poultry producers in the country. The last time a case of bird flu was seen here was in 2015 and now steps are being taken to control this most recent case.

"We don't want it to spread. They're working on the depopulation right now of the chickens," said Haugom.

Composting of the dead chickens is expected to begin in the coming days. Jefferson County officials say the spot where this is happening was chosen carefully to avoid any water contamination which is one of the main concerns neighbors have.

"The selected compost site which is owned by the producer has sufficient area and meets location criteria for a compost site to avoid ground water contamination," Haugom shared from DATCA.P.

DATCAP says composting is the safest and effective way to handle large volumes of infected carcasses.

They say steps are being taken to ensure there's no lingering smell that would disturb neighbors or attract animals. Some animal rights groups don't agree with the compost location.

"We as an organization say we know you have to do this... just take it somewhere else. The neighbors are upset...imagine it in your backyard," said Lisa Castagnozzi, Free From Harm Board Member.

For those who don't live in the area, poultry experts say the bird flu situation is not a major concern to consumers but still something to watch.

"If it continues to spread, if we see it in more flocks it could become a big issue. We could see increases in egg prices, chicken prices," said Ron Kean with UW-Extension.

Residents who still have questions should contact Jefferson County Emergency Management.

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