Animal health officials provided a slight ray of hope to the U.S. poultry industry by lifting quarantine restrictions designed to limit the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Kentucky, even as a new outbreak involving a commercial flock was reported in Wisconsin.
USDA and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) cleared two counties that had been under quarantine since February, opening the door for commercial poultry operations in Fulton and Webster counties to repopulate chicken and turkey operations. Federal officials said recent samples from both facilities showed no HPAI infections, according to a KDA news release.
“We are pleased both sites were given a clean bill of health,” KDA Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. Kentucky will continue to monitor for potential HPAI cases across the state. The properties now cleared were the only operations to have tested positive for HPAI statewide.
In Wisconsin, USDA confirmed a case of HPAI in a commercial turkey flock in Barron County involving more than 110,000 birds, the agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported. The latest outbreak, affecting 46,500 turkeys, is the second in the area in April and brings the total number of birds infected by HPAI across Wisconsin to about 3 million, APHIS reported.
Montana Department of Livestock officials this week said confirmation of HPAI in a flock in Pondera County brings to eight the number of flocks infected in the state. “Montana continues to be in the crosshairs for HPAI infections from wild birds,” Marty Zaluski, Montana state veterinarian, said in a news release.
According to USDA's most recent statistics, HPAI has been confirmed in commercial and backyard birds in 29 states, affecting more than 33 million domestic birds, and in wild birds in 34 states. Last week, the first human infection of bird flu in the current U.S. outbreak was confirmed in Colorado.
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