U.S. poultry sector concerned about spread of high-path avian flu
Highly pathogenic avian influenza continues to spread along the East Coast.
Data from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service shows since the H5N1 virus was confirmed in a hunter-harvested wild bird in South Carolina last month, there have been more than 20 additional discoveries in North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia.
Iowa Turkey Federation executive director Gretta Irwin tells Brownfield this strain has been devastating commercial flocks in Europe the past two years.
“So it does show that the virus is spreading through the wild birds, and that is the cause for additional discussion and concern here in the U.S.”
She says the only North American commercial flock that’s tested positive is in Canada.
“Also (there is) an outbreak with (the case in Canada), so we’re seeing some of that migration starting to happen from the wild birds to commercial flocks. But it’s still mostly being tested and found in the wild harvested birds.”
Irwin stresses strict biosecurity on poultry farms and says the virus poses no food safety risk to consumers.