Avian flu found in birds at Dubois Co. turkey farm, first in U.S. since 2020

Avian flu found in birds at Dubois Co. turkey farm, first in U.S. since 2020
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 12:44 PM CST
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DUBOIS CO., Ind. (AP) - Federal and state agencies reported that a strain of avian flu that can cause high mortality rates among birds has been confirmed at a commercial turkey farm in southern Indiana.

The United States Department of Agriculture said its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza was found at the farm in Dubois County.

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) said the farm is under quarantine and the farm’s 29,000 turkeys are being euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

Denise Derrer Spears, a representative for the BOAH, said that once the birds are gone, they will be disinfecting the facilities and monitoring the area to make sure the outbreak has been contained.

They measured a 15-kilometer radius, and 17other farms in that area will also have to quarantine while they test the turkeys for avian influenza.

“It’s very important that we get this under control because it can impact our agriculture, our international trade partners, even domestic trade,” Spears said.

Dubois County produces more poultry than anywhere else in the state.

The state produces the third most poultry in the U.S., and a mass outbreak could devastate the population.

Luckily, Spears said people don’t have to worry about their health, as avian flu has no risk of food safety trouble or harm to humans.

The USDA said it is the first confirmation of highly pathogenic bird flu in commercial poultry in the U.S. since 2020.

The BOAH said this is the first commercial outbreak in Indiana since 2016.

Officials are recommending that anyone who keeps livestock in the area keep a close eye on their animals. If you notice signs of illness in your birds, report it to the BOAH, immediately.

Spears said that farms in their radius will likely be quarantined for at least the next few weeks while they monitor the situation.

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