From WATTAgNet:

Avian influenza cases in the United States have slowed down in recent days, but the virus remains a big issue for the poultry industry. Here are 7 new developments concerning avian influenza that industry members should be aware of:

1. USDA bracing for avian influenza’s return in the fall –  While avian influenza has affected about 48 million birds in the United States since December 2014, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has only reported the presence of the virus in the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways.  John Clifford, chief veterinary officer for the USDA, told members of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council that the agency is preparing for an even harsher outbreak in the fall, and this time reaching all four flyways in the United States. The Atlantic flyway has so far been spared.

2. Week without new AI cases ends –  One day after APHIS went a full week with no new confirmed cases of avian influenza, the agency on June 17 reported H5N2 avian influenza had been confirmed in a commercial layer flock in Wright County, Iowa.  That discovery pushed the total number of birds affected by avian influenza in the United States beyond 48 million.

3. Avian flu causes poult placements to drop --  The USDA’s Turkey Hatchery report, released on June 16, revealed that due to losses from avian influenza at breeder farms, U.S. turkey poult placements were down 8 percent in May and the number of turkey eggs in incubators was down 5 percent when compared to May 2014.

4. Funding for Minnesota farmers available –  Minnesota poultry farmers who have suffered losses due to highly pathogenic avian influenza are eligible for disaster loans through the Minnesota Rural Finance Authority, which has appropriated $10 million to help producers replenish their flocks.

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5. Iowa shipments threaten other states –  Arizona quarantined farms in four counties that received shipments of birds and eggs from a farm in Iowa that after the shipment left, had birds testing positive for avian influenza. A similar situation was reported in Georgia. There, state officials confiscated and culled three flocks to prevent the spread of the virus. Neither Arizona nor Georgia have had any confirmed cases of avian influenza to date.

6. Michael Foods flock spared –  A layer flock in Nebraska that had preliminarily tested positive for avian influenza went through a series of additional tests, which showed there was no presence of avian influenza. The quarantine of the farm, flock, owned by Michael Foods, has been lifted by state and federal veterinary officials.

7. Wild bird surveillance picking up in Minnesota –  With 99 confirmed cases of avian influenza, Minnesota has had more cases than any other state. However, to date, only 1 of those was found in a wild bird. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources plans to expand its wild bird testing over the summer and fall, MPR reported, to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Bookmark WATTAgNet’s avian influenza update page for news and analysis concerning avian influenza and its impact on the global poultry industry.

RFA to offer low interest loans for farmers affected by avian influenza

– Minnesota poultry farmers who have suffered losses due to highly pathogenic avian influenza are eligible for disaster loans through the Minnesota Rural Finance Authority (RFA). “These disaster loans will help them, in part, rebuild their operations and revitalize their industry.” The RFA Disaster Loan Program is available to farmers through their existing agricultural lenders.
Read more at Minnesotafarmguide

Analysis: Avian flu will be in all US flyways this fall

Clifford said, “The secretary of agriculture has asked the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to prepare for a worst-case scenario [with highly pathogenic avian influenza] in the fall of 2015, and we are doing that.” A worst-case scenario, he said, would involve the highly ...
Read more at Wattagnet

Minnesota to expand wild bird flu testing; only 1 infected bird found

Minnesota officials plan to expand testing wild birds for avian influenza, though more than 3,300 samples tested so far have revealed only one positive hit for the highly pathogenic flu. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday said it will test ducks and geese this summer as ...
Read more at Mprnews

Analysis: Avian flu lowering US turkey poult placements

Share: Analysis: Avian flu lowering US turkey poult placements Industry sources project that turkey breeder losses from avian flu in the Upper Midwest will depress U.S. Release Date: 2015-06-18 By Terrence O’Keefe iStockPhoto.com/luvhotpepper Breeder losses caused by the avian flu outbreak in the U.S.
Read more at Wattagnet

1 million Iowa layers affected as avian flu cases resume

1 million Iowa layers affected as avian flu cases resume APHIS reports first confirmed case of avian influenza since June 9 Release Date: 2015-06-17 Highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza has been confirmed in a commercial layer flock in Wright County, Iowa, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported on June 17.
Read more at Wattagnet

Chickens Slaughtered in GA to Thwart Bird Flu's Spread

The recent spread of avian influenza throughout the country that has led to the slaughter of 46 million chickens spanning 14 different states may have spread to Georgia, forcing the state to swiftly react. State officials confiscated and slaughtered three flocks on Tuesday amid concerns the bird flu had spread to those flocks, according to a report by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Read more at patch.com

Arizona quarantines 4 areas for avian flu surveillance

Share: Arizona quarantines 4 areas for avian flu surveillance Birds and eggs from Iowa facility affected by avian influenza were shipped to four locations in Arizona Release Date: 2015-06-17 The Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) has quarantined four properties as it fears birds and eggs shipped from an Iowa facility that was affected by avian influenza might have brought the virus with them.
Read more at Wattagnet