More Cases of HPAI Detected in the United States Over the Weekend

Chicken, Rooster

Story by Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor

OMAHA (DTN) — The number of states impacted by highly pathogenic avian influenza continues ticking upward as USDA has reported at least three more commercial flocks have been infected.

The growing number of cases comes as the spring migratory season is peaking in major flyways along rivers such as the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Millions of geese and other migratory birds are moving through the region. Wild birds often carry HPAI but do not show symptoms. Domestic backyard and commercial flocks of chicken and turkeys are more susceptible to the bird flu carried in by those migratory birds.

As cases have cropped up, the European Union has banned imports of eggs for a ten-kilometer (6.2 miles) radius around each infected farm, though there have been no links to HPAI and the food supply. Japan, South Korea and other countries have also continued to place import restrictions on eggs or other poultry products after HPAI confirmations.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Sunday confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial mixed-species flock in Charles Mix County, South Dakota, which is along the Missouri River in southeast South Dakota.

Also on Monday, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced a commercial turkey flock in Buena Vista County, Iowa, had a confirmed positive case of HPAI. Last week, Iowa had its first cases of bird flu confirmed in a backyard flock. Officials did not immediately release the number of turkeys involved on this latest farm.

On Saturday, APHIS reported a commercial egg-laying chicken farm was confirmed with HPAI in Cecil County, Maryland, which is part of the Delmarva poultry production area. USDA did not immediately release how many birds were involved in the flock.

Press staff for APHIS did not respond during the weekend to questions about the flock sizes for the Maryland or South Dakota operations. The agency’s website listing those details was not updated.

USDA on Friday confirmed HPAI in a flock of 240,000 broiler chickens in Stoddard County, Missouri, in the southeast corner of the state. As protocol, the farm was quarantined, and the birds will be depopulated on the premise. None of the birds will enter the food chain.

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