Weather Alert

Iowa Ag Secretary Concerned About Early Cases of Bird Flu

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2015, file photo, cage-free chickens walk in a fenced pasture at an organic farm near Waukon, Iowa. The confirmation of bird flu at another Iowa egg-laying farm will force the killing of more than 5 million chickens, officials said Friday, March 18, 2022. Spread of the disease is largely blamed on the droppings or nasal discharge of infected wild birds, such as ducks and geese, which can contaminate dust and soil. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

DES MOINES, IA (Radio Iowa) Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says he is concerned about the number of cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza — or Bird Flu — that have already been detected and confirmed in Iowa.

“We didn’t start dealing with High Path in Iowa until the middle of April in 2015 and here we’ve already got five cases in the middle of March,” Naig says. “And so it is concerning that as we look at the migration north of wild birds that we still have quite a ways to go this spring before we see the completion of that.” Naig says they are pretty confident the bird flu is linked to the migration of birds. He says the earlier discovery does not mean we are in for a repeat of the 2015 outbreak.

“We are certainly hopeful that we do not see the kind of spread that we did see in ’15. Fifteen was and still is the largest animal disease outbreak in U-S history. And so, we are watching very closely,” he says.
Naig says believes government agencies and the industry are better prepared now than in 2015 to handle the spread of the bird flu.

“We’ve been training for this, we know what to do, and we know that we need to act quicker to detect cases of High Path — and then act quickly to detain it. We’ve been working on it hard over the last couple of years,” Naig says. Naig made his comments during stops in Sioux and Plymouth Counties.

(By Dennis Morrice, WNAX, Yankton)



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