Thursday, April 2, 2015

More U.S. flocks hit by avian influenza

Two more flocks have been hit by avian influenza – a 21,000-bird turkey flock in Minnesota and a 53,000-bird turkey flock in South Dakota.

It’s the fourth Minnesota flock to be hit with the H2N2 strain of avian influenza this year, and the first in South Dakota.

Both are located on flyways for migrating waterfowl which are blamed for introducing the flu to commercial flocks.

The outbreaks mean the United States will continue to face trading bans imposed by 40 nations. Canada bans trade only from the states where flocks have been hit.

All of the birds in the infected flocks are sacrificed, the farms are put under strict quarantine and must undergo a vigorous cleanup and disinfection before they can resume production.

British Columbia’s commercial poultry industry in the Fraser Valley has been hit by the same avian influenza, losing 11 flocks and costing all of Canada losses in overseas markets, including breeding stock from Hybrid Turkeys of Kitchener and Shaver Poultry Breeding Farms of Cambridge, Ont.