Bird Flu Is Blitzing

Feb 15, 2022

‘Slow the spread’ might be the New Years resolution that the U.S. poultry industry didn’t know they needed.

Last Wednesday a commercial turkey farm in Indiana reported that they were bird flu positive, causing China, South Korea, and Mexico to immediately ban imports from the state. As a result, nearly 30,000 turkeys were euthanized to prevent further spread.

The flu flight zone: While bird flu isn’t new news on the international stage, the confirmation of the case in Dubois County, Indiana sounds all the alarms domestically as it’s right in the middle of a migratory bird pathway.

This path, the Mississippi Flyway, includes major poultry-producing states including Mississippi, Alabama, and Indiana. It’s likely that the lethal (to birds) H5N1 strain is in flight to the West Coast.

All farms within a 10-km radius of the confirmed cases are quarantined and will undergo weekly testing. While not confirmed, this is upwards of a few hundred thousand additional birds.

Soundbite: “This is a foreign animal disease and shouldn’t be on our landscape,” said Denise Derrer Spears of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. “That flips the switch and makes this a big deal right off the bat, and we need to stamp it out before it gets out of control.”

And in breaking news… Yesterday, new positive cases were found in a commercial chicken farm in Kentucky.