Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has signed a state of emergency declaration to address the discovery of avian influenza in Nebraska’s poultry sector. The governor, in consultation with Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach, issued the declaration in order to ensure the availability of resources for the state agencies who are working in Northeast Nebraska on the avian influenza discovery.

NDA and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on May 12 confirmed a case of H5N2 avian influenza in a flock of layers in Nebraska’s Dixon County. There were 1.7 million birds in the flock.

 “We have an NDA team in northeast Nebraska and already are receiving great support from federal, state and local partners,” Ibach said. “This declaration gives us additional tools to effectively deal with this disease. We have a poultry sector valued at $1.1 billion, so obviously the impacts of avian influenza will be far-reaching.”

The state of emergency declaration is effective immediately. It will provide resources to help state agencies with appropriate response functions such as:

  • Tracking, monitoring and rapidly responding to instances of confirmed HPAI cases throughout the state of Nebraska;
  • Containing the spread of HPAI within Nebraska through employment of biosecurity protocols, depopulation of affected birds, disinfection practices, and disposal of bird mortalities; and
  • Engaging in surveillance and early detection activities and other investigatory efforts to stop the spread of the disease within the state.

Other state agencies partnering in the emergency response include Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Department of Roads and Nebraska State Patrol.

Nebraska’s emergency declaration follows similar declarations issued by other Midwestern states, including Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

To track confirmed cases of the North American avian influenza outbreak, see WATTAgNet's avian influenza tracker map and bookmark the avian influenza update page for news about and analysis of avian influenza.