Northey highlights avian influenza preparations following confirmation of the disease in the U.S.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey has highlighted the continued biosecurity efforts by Iowa turkey, egg and broiler farmers and the preparations undertaken on the state and federal level following the confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Tennessee and low pathogenicity avian influenza in Tennessee and Wisconsin in the past week.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus strains are extremely infectious, often fatal to domestic poultry, and can spread rapidly from flock to flock. Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) virus strains occur naturally in wild migratory waterfowl and shorebirds without causing illness. LPAI can occur in domestic poultry, with little or no signs of illness.
“Iowa saw firsthand the devastating impact of avian influenza in 2015 and in response our poultry farmers have made significant investments and an ongoing commitment to increase biosecurity efforts to keep their birds healthy. We have also worked to learn from the 2015 outbreak to improve the response from both the state and federal governments,” Northey noted.
Biosecurity Important for Farmers:
Iowa turkey, egg and broiler farmers have updated their biosecurity measures and made significant investments to help prevent the disease from getting on their farms. They focus every day on biosecurity in recognition of the potential that Avian Influenza and other diseases are always a risk.
All poultry farms need to have a biosecurity plan to qualify for USDA indemnification. It is also recommended all livestock premises that have one or more animals have an official premises identification number, which may be obtained for free by contacting the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Information on how to obtain premise identification can be found at http://www.iowaagriculture.gov/animalIndustry/premiseIdentificationProgram.asp or by calling the Department toll free at 888-778-7675.
Iowa's egg and turkey companies have implemented company-wide biosecurity plans. The Center for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University, College of Veterinary Medicine has produced numerous materials to help farmers update biosecurity measures on their farms. More information about their suggestions can be found at http://poultrybiosecurity.org/.
State and Federal Preparations:
In addition to the work by poultry farmers, state and federal partners have taken numerous steps to learn from the 2015 incident and prepare for any future outbreaks.
The Iowa response to Avian Influenza operates under a Unified Command involving the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Veterinary Services. "We also work closely with partners in the Poultry industry as well as other state agencies, including the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Department of Natural Resources," concluded Northey.