Latest U.S. Department of Agriculture News

High number of seal deaths linked to bird flu, feds say

Jul. 05, 2022 11:19 AM EDT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An unusual number of seals are becoming stranded and dying off Maine this summer, and avian influenza is to blame, the federal government said Tuesday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that samples from four Maine seals tested positive for the...

Prosecutors: 'Tiger King' star trafficked endangered animals

Jun. 30, 2022 16:50 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — “Tiger King” star Bhagavan “Doc” Antle has been charged with buying or selling endangered lemurs, cheetahs, and a chimpanzee without the proper paperwork, federal prosecutors in South Carolina said Thursday. The latest charges are on top of money...

US agency to limit predator killing methods in Idaho

Jun. 29, 2022 17:57 PM EDT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A U.S. agency responsible for killing wolves and other predators to prevent attacks on livestock has agreed to settle a lawsuit by completing an extensive environmental study on its methods in Idaho. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services also...

‘Tiger King’ star Doc Antle set to be released on bond

Jun. 27, 2022 22:53 PM EDT

Bond has been set for “Tiger King” star Bhagavan “Doc” Antle on charges he laundered more than half a million dollars, money federal prosecutors have said that he believed to be the proceeds of an operation to smuggle people across the Mexican border into the United States. A...

Families brace for changes to pandemic-era free school meals

Jun. 27, 2022 17:07 PM EDT

ESSEX, Vt. (AP) — Before the pandemic, there was no room in the budget for Kate Murphy’s children to buy lunch at school. She and her husband would buy in bulk and make bag lunches at home. So the free school meals that were made available to students nationwide amid the crisis have brought...

'Biblical' insect swarms spur Oregon push to fight pests

Jun. 26, 2022 12:40 PM EDT

ARLINGTON, Ore. (AP) — Driving down a windy canyon road in northern Oregon rangeland, Jordan Maley and April Aamodt are on the look out for Mormon crickets, giant insects that can ravage crops. “There’s one right there,” Aamodt says. They’re not hard to spot....

Early in harvest, Mississippi watermelons looking good

Jun. 19, 2022 10:29 AM EDT

RAYMOND, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's watermelons are looking good as the state’s harvest season opens, the Mississippi State University Extension Service says. “Melon quality is good,” said agent Heath Steede. “The dry weather we’ve been having hurts other crops, but for...

Agritourism trail spotlights Black farms in Georgia

Jun. 19, 2022 00:06 AM EDT

ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — Tucked behind the wrought iron gates that line the frontage at 801 Old Pretoria Road is the stuff that retreat-style getaways are made of: an 1851 mansion appointed in period furniture available for rent as a wedding venue or other private event; farm acreage dotted with...

Group blasts Chimp Haven fight deaths; wild chimps also kill

Jun. 18, 2022 11:49 AM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An animal rights group has filed a federal complaint against the national sanctuary for federally owned chimpanzees once used for experiments. A federal citation and Chimp Haven’s own reports about an escape and about deaths caused by fights among chimpanzees...

Bird flu outbreak waning but threat of virus lingers

Jun. 16, 2022 18:26 PM EDT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A bird flu outbreak in the U.S. that led to the deaths of more than 40 million chickens and turkeys and contributed to a spike in egg and meat prices appears to be waning, but experts caution the virus hasn’t disappeared and worry another surge could take hold this fall. ...