By DAVID PITT
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ A bird flu that resulted in the deaths of 48 million chickens and turkeys has finally waned, but industry officials and government researchers will gather this week in Des Moines to discuss next steps if the virus returns this fall or next spring.
Meetings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in Des Moines are coordinated by the Georgia-based U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. The trade organization represents egg and meat chicken companies as well as businesses handling turkeys, ducks and breeding stock.
Organizers closed most sessions to the public and media, saying they wanted participants to talk freely about what caused the outbreak and how to respond more effectively to future problems.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad are scheduled to talk Tuesday morning.