In an email newsletter sent to constituents on April 24, Peterson, D-Minnesota, reported that he had recently met with Dr. John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), to discuss the virus that has impacted dozens of commercial turkey operations in the state Peterson represents in Congress. During the meeting, Peterson wrote, he and Clifford discussed USDA’s response to avian influenza outbreaks and ways to improve the response and provide assistance to turkeys in Minnesota.
“Avian flu is impacting poultry and egg producers around the world, with Minnesota producers being particularly hit hard. With the virus continuing to impact the region, I will continue to work with USDA and state officials to help get producers back up on their feet,” Peterson wrote. “This is a complex problem.”
Peterson added that the infrastructure needs to be strengthened to help the animal agriculture industry be able to better deal with such animal health issues.
Information concerning avian influenza outbreaks in Minnesota and other states, as well as Canadian provinces, can be found on WATTAgNet’s avian influenza map.