The depopulation of birds exposed to highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in Dixon County, Nebraska, is now complete, Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach announced on June 26. According to Ibach, a total of 4.9 million laying hens and pullets were humanely depopulated and composted at five farms owned and operated by the same producer in Dixon County.

Four of those farms had confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza, while the producer voluntarily depopulated the birds at the fifth farm in an effort to contain the spread of the virus within their operation. A backyard flock with epidemiological connections to the five farms, and located within the 6.2 mile quarantine zone established by NDA, also tested positive for the virus. Fewer than 100 mixed fowl were depopulated and buried on that property.

Nebraska’s first case of avian influenza was confirmed on May 12, while the last detection of the virus in Nebraska was reported on June 4.

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“I feel the depopulation process ran as smoothly as it did because of the working relationship and cooperation we received from local, state and federal agencies,” Ibach said. “I personally want to thank our staff for their hard work, dedication and long hours they put in to help prevent further spread of the virus. I also want to thank those within several key organizations who played a critical part in the response.”

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