HPAI: Should the US poultry industry still be concerned?

The 2022-2023 avian influenza outbreak is the worst recorded in history.

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USDA | Flickr

The last reported case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the U.S. was on April 18, 2023, more than three months ago. Is it time for the poultry industry to let down its guard?

“I don’t think that anybody can give you a crystal ball and tell you for sure what’s going to happen in the future,” John R. Clifford, veterinary trade policy advisor, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), explained at the 2023 Chicken Marketing Summit.

“But there are other things that bother me from the standpoint of the future of HPAI.”

During the 2022-2023 HPAI outbreak, more than 57.7 million commercial poultry were depopulated. HPAI most dramatically impacted the layer industry – with 44.4 million depopulated, equal to 12% of the entire segment – followed by turkeys and broilers.

Preventing future HPAI losses

The current H5N1 strain of HPAI infected wild birds in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa and has caused record losses of domestic poultry in Europe and North America. More recently, cases were reported in South America as well.

Biosecurity is the best way to prevent the spread of HPAI, Clifford warned. These measures include perimeter barrier areas, personal protective equipment (PPE) and manure and little management.

Investing in biosecurity is a better tool than vaccinations, which could impact trade, mask the disease and slow identification.

“It will not eradicate HPAI by itself. It will help reduce HPAI, but it will not eradicate it. The best way to eradicate it is prevention,” he added.

To learn more about HPAI cases in commercial poultry flocks in the United States, Mexico and Canada, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com. 

Attend the 2024 Chicken Marketing Summit

The 2024 Chicken Marketing Summit will be held at the Renaissance Birmingham Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa in Birmingham, Alabama, on July 29-31, 2024.

Serving a unique cross section of the chicken supply chain, the Chicken Marketing Summit explores issues and trends in food marketing and consumer chicken consumption patterns and purchasing behavior. 

Registration will open in early 2024.

For more information, visit: www.wattglobalmedia.com/chickenmarketingsummit/



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