Newly confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) affected commercial turkeys in Minnesota and more commercial chickens in Iowa even as mitigation efforts continued in many U.S. states.
Hormel Corp.’s Jennie-O Turkey Store confirmed an avian flu outbreak at one of its commercial turkey farms in Minnesota, adding that the company is working with local and national animal health agencies to monitor the situation. The Jennie-O outbreak in Meeker County and a separate HPAI outbreak in a backyard flock of 17 chickens, ducks and geese in Mower County are the first in the state this year and the first since 2015. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health have imposed a quarantined the two areas and all of the birds are expected to be culled.
Meanwhile, USDA also confirmed a seventh outbreak of avian influenza in Iowa in a case that affected 250,000 pullet chickens in Franklin County. So far, an estimated 6.4 million commercial turkeys, layer chickens and backyard birds in Iowa have been affected by the seven HPAI outbreaks, according to USDA statistics.
Additionally, a wild bald eagle tested positive for H5N1 in Pennsylvania and other wild birds are being tested for HPAI in both Clarion and Venango Counties, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The agency is working with USDA to identify other potential outbreaks among wild birds and waterfowl that could spread to commercial or domestic birds in other parts of the state.
Several states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska are canceling poultry-related events in an effort to limit the spread of the highly contagious virus. Poultry producers across the country also are being encouraged to improve their biosecurity efforts to protect their bird flocks, especially in terms of potential contact with wild birds that may be infected with HPAI.
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