Large Utah turkey farms depopulated after HPAI discovery

USDA APHIS confirms over 140,000 birds affected in state this fall already.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

October 10, 2023

1 Min Read
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Officials with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) and the USDA Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on two Sanpete County turkey farms of 134,200 birds and 7,600 birds.

“It is unfortunate to see new cases of avian flu in Utah again this year and affecting Utah’s turkey farmers,” said UDAF State Veterinarian Daniel Christensen. “Our department is working hard to help this farm handle this situation as quickly and safely as possible.”

UDAF officials are working closely with APHIS on incident response. The area in which the birds were located has been quarantined and the infected birds have been depopulated to prevent further spread of the disease.

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, UDAF and its federal partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flock.

“Anyone with birds located in Sanpete County please vigilantly watch your flock for symptoms of HPAI, which include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds.” UDAF stated.

If birds show any of these symptoms, state veterinarians should be contacted immediately. Additionally, anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available here.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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