February 28, 2017 - 9:24 am - Posted in News

chickensNorthwest Iowa — Northwest Iowa poultry producers are again on-guard for avian influenza after a wild duck in Montana was recently diagnosed with the illness. Iowa had more losses than any other state after a bird flu outbreak in 2015, with many of those losses coming here in our area.

USDA Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Jack Shere, says producers need to be watchful for any problems in their flocks.

Shere says ramping up biosecurity is one answer but that’s hard to do after an outbreak is already underway.

A large bird flu outbreak was reported recently in South Korea and 30-million birds were destroyed, boosting demand for the export of eggs from Iowa producers. It’s believed the disease is spread by migrating wild waterfowl like geese and ducks. Given the latest case in Montana, Shere says the USDA is continuing to monitor for the virus.

During the 2015 bird flu outbreak, cases were confirmed at 77 Iowa poultry operations in 18 counties. It resulted in the destruction of more than 31-million birds and an economic loss to the state of one-point-two billion dollars.

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