Monitoring of Wild Birds for HPAI Underway

Cindy ZimmermanAudio, avian flu, usda

ai-updateA monitoring program to keep an eye on wild birds that might be carrying highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is underway in an effort to prevent potential spread of the disease this fall as recovery from its impacts is continuing in the hardest hit states.

The effort coordinated by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) involves collecting samples from various migratory wildfowl to see if the disease is present. The goal is to test over 40,000 samples and so far the program has collected about 6,500 none of which tested positive for HPAI.

Iowa was one of the hardest hit states and state agriculture secretary Bill Northey is hoping their recovery can continue without additional cases this year. “It’s been two and a half months since our last case but we’re going into a fall that we’re a little nervous about,” said Northey during an interview at the Farm Progress Show last week. “So it’s important to make sure that if it does come back we end this very quickly.”

Northey expects most of the 71 farms in his state that were impacted by the disease will be back in production soon. “It’s going to take a while before all of them are back…probably five farms or less that won’t get back into production,” he said.

Listen to the full update here: Interview with Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey