Last month, animal-welfare advocates decried the Easter tradition of giving live chicks and rabbits to children, but health officials say animal cruelty isn’t the only reason to put an end to the practice. According to a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine, mail-order chicks—an estimated 50 million of which are supplied to backyard farms and feed stores each year—have been linked to more than 300 cases of salmonella un the US since 2004. Though no one died in any of these cases, researchers warn that salmonella can be dangerous to those with weak immune systems, including young children, who made up half of the cases detailed in the report.
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