Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza has been confirmed in commercial birds in two new Minnesota counties, the state's Department of Agriculture reported. 

A flock of 22,000 turkeys in Lac qui Parle county, Minnesota, was confirmed to be infected on March 27 after testing by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. On March 28, another flock of 39,000 turkeys was confirmed to be infected with the H5N2 bird flu strain in Stearns county, Minnesota.  

Upon confirmation of the Lac qui Parle county infection, the Department of Agriculture established a 10-kilometer quarantine for the farm site and surrounding location, and turkey flocks within a 20-kilometer radius will be monitored. The poultry producer had reported the sudden death of birds in the flock. A total of 66,000 birds in three barns were euthanized as a precaution, according to Bethany Hahn, communications director with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. 


In response to the Lac qui Parle county outbreak, Glenn R. Leitch, president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, stated that the company is "diligently managing the occurrence in full cooperation” with the appropriate agencies, and that “[t]he affected turkeys make up only a fraction of 1 percent of the company’s supply chain, and will not affect our ability to serve our customers."

The infected turkeys in both counties had not entered the food chain, according to the reports.  

Stay up-to-date with WATTAgNet's interactive avian influenza map tracking outbreaks across the U.S. and Canada: https://batchgeo.com/map/2015-avian-influenza-outbreaks.