NY Legislators Want Chickens Vaccinated

Daniel L. Squadron

August 31, 2010

By the Associated Press

Two New York State legislators want to require farmers in the state to vaccinate hens against salmonella, which sickened thousands of Americans and triggered the largest egg recall in U.S. history.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh announced their proposal Sunday in front of a Lower East Side supermarket in the wake of a nationwide recall of more than a half billion eggs. None of the recalled eggs came from New York.

"The massive outbreaks of food-borne illness in recent months leave no doubt that our food safety system is failing us, threatening everyone's well-being and sometimes costing people's lives," Kavanagh, a Manhattan Democrat, said at a news conference. They said vaccinations costing less than a penny per dozen eggs could nearly eliminate an average of 142,000 egg-related salmonella cases each year in the U.S. if all states had such a law. About 30 people across the country die each year from salmonella poisoning.

Salmonella vaccination by British farmers has successfully reduced the number of such cases by 96 percent in England and Wales in the past decade, making the egg supply there the safest in Europe.

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