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Study: Poultry sale, slaughter practices in China may spread avian influenza
China Photos/Getty Images

Poultry is sold live at markets across China and slaughtered and defeathered on-site after being purchased, potentially releasing aerosolized virus and contaminated fluids into the air from birds infected with avian influenza, according to a study conducted at the USDA's Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory. Mechanical defeathering devices in particular release the virus into the air, veterinarian David Swayne said.

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