The deadly poultry illness extremely pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been recognized in a yard flock in Iowa, the No. 1 egg-producing state, stated the Agriculture Division on Wednesday. It was the primary case of “excessive path” hen flu west of the Mississippi River and the seventeenth present in home flocks this yr.
“We acknowledge the menace HPAI and different international animal ailments pose to Iowa agriculture,” stated Mike Naig, Iowa’s agriculture secretary. State officers quarantined the positioning, which is in Pottawattamie County on the Iowa-Nebraska border, stated the USDA. The contaminated mixed-species flock of 42 birds can be destroyed, it stated.
Iowa, which produces considered one of each seven eggs within the nation, was the state hit hardest by the hen flu epidemic of 2014 and 2015, with losses of greater than 31.5 million turkeys and egg-laying hens. In neighboring Minnesota, the highest turkey-growing state, 9 million birds have been killed by the virus or culled in makes an attempt to cease its unfold.
General, 50 million birds, principally hens and turkeys, died within the 2014-15 epidemic, which drove up egg costs within the grocery retailer and brought on financial losses of greater than $1 billion.
Greater than 1.6 million birds, principally chickens, have died on this yr’s outbreaks, which started in early February and have been the primary incidents of HPAI in industrial poultry flocks in two years. The Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service has listed 17 instances in 9 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New York, and Virginia.
Indiana has had the biggest variety of outbreaks — 5 confirmed and one pending — whereas Delaware has had the biggest loss: 12 million birds on a poultry farm in New Citadel County. Iowa and Connecticut have the most recent confirmed outbreaks. The Connecticut case concerned a mixed-species yard flock of 100 birds in New London County, within the southeastern nook of the state.
HPAI will be unfold by migratory waterfowl and their droppings; it can be unfold from barn to barn by employees and contaminated tools. “The easiest way to guard your birds is to comply with good biosecurity,” with such steps as proscribing entry to flocks and cleansing garments, automobiles, and tools used round flocks, stated a USDA truth sheet.
“Now we have been working with USDA, livestock producers, and different stakeholders to develop, check, and strengthen our international animal illness preparedness and response plans because the 2015 HPAI outbreak,” stated Naig. “Whereas a case like this isn’t sudden, we’re working with USDA and different companions to implement our plans and defend the well being of poultry flocks in Iowa.”
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