The nine commercial turkey and duck farms in Indiana where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed have been cleared to repopulate at the owners’ discretion, the Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) stated.

According to the BOAH, all nine affected premises have completed the required virus elimination activities and observed a fallow period.

The first case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States was confirmed in Dubois County, Indiana, on February 8. That flock involved 29,000 commercial turkeys.

Three more HPAI infections in turkey farms in Dubois County followed, with those cases being confirmed on February 16, February 24 and March 2. In addition, HPAI was confirmed at two commercial turkey farms in Greene County on February 23, and three commercial duck operations in Elkhart County on April 8, 14 and 20, according to information on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.

Avian influenza concerns remain

However, despite that progress, the state is not yet free of the disease, as it was detected in backyard poultry.

At the same time the BOAH gave notice that the commercial farms had been cleared to restock, it also announced, on June 30, that a chicken and a goose that were being kept as a hobby flock in Marion County tested positive for the H5 avian influenza virus. They were tested after two wild birds on the property tested positive for HPAI.

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HPAI cases in wild birds or backyard poultry will not impact international poultry trade, in accordance with standards set forth by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH).

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flocks. 

BOAH is working with multiple state and federal partners to respond to this event, including Indiana Department of Health, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and USDA Veterinary Services, Wildlife Services and Farm Service Agency. 

To learn more about HPAI cases in North American commercial poultry flocks, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com.

Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.