Iowa lifts all avian flu quarantines on commercial farms
State reveals that the only farms still under avian influenza-related quarantines are in backyard flocks
All avian influenza-related quarantines affecting commercial egg and turkey farms have been lifted, the state’s agriculture department announced on November 6.
Earlier in 2015, 72 commercial poultry farms in Iowa had been placed under quarantine after having confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza, with the last case being confirmed June 17 in a commercial layer flock in Wright County.
However, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship revealed that all of the affected farms are now eligible to restock their flocks after completing the cleaning and disinfection process, and finishing the required 21-day period following disinfection with no detections of the virus. Some farms have already began the repopulation process, with the repopulating of the first turkey farm in Iowa beginning in early August.
While all commercial poultry facilities are now eligible to repopulate, quarantines remain on five backyard operations. According to the state agency, backyard facilities must undergo a 180-day period following depopulation before quarantines can be lifted and repopulation can begin. The backyard operations are expected to be able to come off of quarantine in December.
Iowa had more birds affected by avian influenza than any other state, with 31.7 million birds impacted in 2015. The state’s first case was confirmed on April 19, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) reported.