According to a report in the Des Moines Register today, 10/26/2015, the last bird flu outbreak cost taxpayers $1 billion. (See link below.) The payments to chicken and egg producers included the cost of the birds that were destroyed, the cleanup, and “indemnity payments” to cover their losses.
I understand that we citizens, through our government, need to prohibit diseased meat from entering our food supply. I don’t understand why producers are not insured against such a foreseeable risk. If we have a law that prohibits diseased meat from being sold, and if we do not provide producers with a taxpayer paid bailout, then producers will do one (or more) of three things: they will reduce their own risk by splitting large flocks into smaller, geographically separated flocks; they will buy insurance to cover the risk; or they will take the financial risk of loss upon themselves.
To the extent that taxpayers bail out producers, they will not take the necessary steps to manage and reduce their own risks. We need to give notice to producers that they will not be bailed out in the future.
Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/agriculture/2015/10/25/bird-flu-when-return/74334080/