The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in second commercial turkey flock in Kandiyohi County, Minn. This is the eighth confirmation in a commercial flock in Minnesota, and the second in Kandiyohi County following the announcement of another molting breeder replacement flock yesterday.
The flock of 30,000 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. Kandiyohi County has the state's largest turkey inventory. Though 130,000 birds have been affected in Minnesota so far in this outbreak, the state produces 46 million turkeys each year.
Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings. NVSL is the only internationally recognized avian influenza reference laboratory in the U.S.
APHIS is working closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.
As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners as well as industry are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following these five basic steps:
1. Quarantine — restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area;
2. Eradicate — humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s);
3. Monitor region — testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area;
4. Disinfect — kills the virus in the affected flock locations, and
5. Test — confirming that the poultry farm is AI virus-free.
USDA also is working with its partners to actively look and test for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.