Avian influenza continues to hit South Dakota hard


Avian influenza continues to hit South Dakota hard

Highly pathogenic avian influenza is having a big impact on South Dakota poultry operations.

Dr. Mendel Miller with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board says, “We’re actually at 22 cases now, and we’ve had new cases almost every day.”

Miller tells Brownfield as of April 1st, the 22 cases of avian influenza in the state include 21 commercial flocks and most of them are turkeys.  He says the producers are frustrated. “It’s unfortunate that all of the steps that they’ve taken, and they’ve done a great job, it’s just not been successful through no fault of their own. I think every producer large and small is very aware of it and doing all they can to protect their flock, and that’s the frustration. It’s just not being very successful.”

Miller tells Brownfield depopulation efforts continue at the affected farms, and he’s hoping for a stretch of very warm weather to help knock the virus down. “This virus doesn’t like heat as much. It kind of thrives in the cooler temperatures so if we would get some warmer weather, that would help a little bit kind of lessen the viral load that’s out there on the environment.”

Miller says the 22 South Dakota cases have affected just over a million birds so far.