More than 1.4 million chickens have been killed in Robertson County, Texas, this week after officials detected a rare respiratory infection in some of the birds, according to an article on

Lampkin Butts, chief operating officer of Mississippi-based Sanderson Farms, said March 19 that chickens with infectious laryngotracheitis, or ILT, were found on farms in Texas more than a week ago. It is unclear how the birds became infected.

The virus is not a danger to people, even if they eat meat infected with the disease, according to Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials who are overseeing the slaughter of the birds in Robertson County.


"To stop the movement of disease, affected and exposed birds are being slaughtered," said Bob Hillman, TAHC Executive Director.

Butts said about a million of those killed would be processed for food and that meat from another 400,000 euthanized birds would not be distributed.