The nation’s largest egg producer, Cal-Maine Foods Inc., announced Tuesday that a large layer operation in the Texas panhandle that accounts for 3.6% of the company’s production tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza.

The farm near the New Mexico border at Farwell, Texas, has 1.6 million laying hens and 337,000 pullets and will have to be depopulated. The farm is in the same general region as some of the dairy farms that have recently reported cases of HPAI in cattle.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that a worker on a Texas dairy operation had tested positive for H5N1, a form of HPAI.  

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed cases of HPAI in seven dairy herds in Texas, two in Kansas, and one each in Michigan and New Mexico. 

                 It’s easy to be “in the know” about what’s happening in Washington, D.C. Sign up for a FREE month of Agri-Pulse news! Simply click here.

Cal-Maine said in a release that it “remains dedicated to robust biosecurity programs across its locations; however, no farm is immune from HPAI. HPAI is still present in the wild bird population and the extent of possible future outbreaks, with heightened risk during the migration seasons, cannot be predicted.”

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said “the current risk to the public remains minimal. It is important for us as an industry to maintain a high level of vigilance. State and national agencies will continue to provide updated guidance as developments warrant."

For more news, go to