Highly Pathogenic Bird Flu Found in 2 More Minnesota Flocks
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - State officials have confirmed the presence of bird flu in two more poultry flocks in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health says the highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected in poultry owned by a backyard producer in Stearns County on Wednesday and in a commercial turkey meat-producing operation in adjoining Morrison County on Thursday. The Morrison County flock has around 52,000 turkeys, while the backyard producer in Stearns County has around 115 birds.
Since the bird flu strain was first detected in Minnesota on March 25th, it has now been confirmed in seven flocks in seven different counties, mainly in Western and central Minnesota. The vast majority of the infected poultry have been found in west and central Minnesota, but there has also been a confirmed case involving a small backyard flock in Mower County.
When an infection is detected, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health creates a "response zone" around the property or area where the infection was found to control movement and a perimeter of an area for testing and surveillance. Officials continue to urge commercial poultry producers and backyard flock owners to practice strict biosecurity and prevent their birds from exposure to wild waterfowl.
On Thursday, the state announced a temporary moratorium on poultry sales events and exhibitions. The moratorium went into effect today and will be effective through the end of April as part of Minnesota's efforts to curb the spread of the virus.
State officials say the virus has not caused any human illnesses and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated the recent bird flu infections in the US involving wild birds and poultry flocks pose a low risk to the public.