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40,000 birds to be killed due to avian flu in Arkansas, USA

Bird Flu

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday confirmed the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Arkansas, the third-largest U.S. turkey producer and home to Tyson Foods Inc, the nation’s biggest chicken company.
Shares of Tyson and other poultry companies, including Pilgrim’s Pride Corp and Sanderson Farms Inc, tumbled on concerns the discovery will further limit U.S. trade with Asia and Latin America.
Tyson’s stock price fell 5.6 percent to $37.55 after hitting a five-month low of $37.35.
The infected flock of 40,020 turkeys in Boone County, Arkansas, is located within the Mississippi flyway, a migratory route along which the same strain of H5N2 bird flu was previously identified in Minnesota and Missouri.
Arkansas officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be culled to prevent the spread of the disease, according to USDA. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system.
In response to the news, Japan’s farm ministry halted imports of live poultry and poultry meat from Arkansas from Thursday, a ministry official said. It has already imposed bans on imports from nine other states, including Minnesota, Missouri and Kansas this month, its website showed.
Other countries such as the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore and Nicaragua have also restricted poultry exports from U.S. states that have suffered bird flu outbreaks, including California and Oregon.
A spokesman for the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture said its ban would probably be extended to Arkansas once it had received formal notification of the outbreak there.
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Tens of thousands of birds to be killed due to avian flu in Missouri, USA

H5N2 Virus

The second confirmed case of avian influenza in a turkey operation in Missouri has been reported by the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
The second case in the state was reported late Monday in Moniteau County at a turkey growing facility. The facility, on Newkirk Road in Fortuna, houses 21,000 turkeys. The MDA is continuing to coordinate response with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state health officials and industry partners.
Earlier, state officials reported Sunday that turkeys at a grower facility in Jasper County – a flock of 30,100 birds – had been infected with the H5N2 avian influenza. USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) reported it was the first time H5N2 had been detected in Missouri.
State Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, said he has confidence Missouri’s agriculture department will contain this illness. Parsons said he had been informed MDA would be instituting “rapid response” to the outbreak at the facility in Moniteau County.
“I have every confidence that the Missouri Department of Agriculture will be able to contain this outbreak,” Parson said from his Jefferson City office. “I am confident Missouri Agriculture can step in and handle this situation.”
Missouri agriculture officials report the state agency continues to follow strict protocols to contain and eliminate the disease. The facilities were immediately quarantined and the remaining turkeys in the involved flocks will be depopulated and will not enter the food system. Testing procedures are underway at properties near the affected facilities to ensure the virus has not spread.
Marvin Childers, president of the Poultry Federation of Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, said the outbreak of illness in the poultry operations should not be considered a threat to the public’s healthy or the food supply. He added that the virus is carried by wild waterfowl.
“Our poultry and egg companies give serious consideration and take immediate preventative steps whenever an avian influenza outbreak is confirmed,” Childers said. “We will supply whatever resources are needed to the MDA and the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) as they implement their coordinated response.”
Childers emphasized that this strain of avian influenza found is lethal to birds but is not known to have caused disease in humans and is not expected to pose a risk to public health.
While lethal to birds, no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally, MDA officials report. The specimens from Moniteau County were tested by the state animal health diagnostic lab in Springfield and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Iowa confirmed the finding.
MDA encourages all bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, to continue practicing good biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds, and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths to a veterinarian and the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health division.
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15,000 turkeys dead due to avian flu in Minnesota, USA

H5N2 Virus

Federal agriculture officials have issued warnings after a deadly strain of the bird flu decimated a turkey flock in Minnesota.
The United States Department of Agriculture said a “highly pathogenic” strain of the avian influenza killed 15,000 turkeys in Pope County, Minn. It’s the same type of flu that’s been infecting wild birds in the Pacific Northwest recently.
The H5N2 strain is considered deadly to foul, but low risk to humans.
“These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick.
People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife,” the USDA said in a written statement.
Workers started noticing dead birds in the turkey flock at the end of February. The virus is passed from bird to bird through fecal matter. The Minnesota Department of Health said four workers who came in contact with the dead birds are being monitored.
The first reported case of this strain appeared in Canada and has since made its way through Oregon, Idaho and Washington, which are all considered part of the Pacific flyaway migratory path.
Minnesota produces a majority of turkeys in the U.S., with some 46 million each year.
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5,000 Birds killed due to avian flu in Jigawa State, Nigeria

Bird Flu

The Jigawa State Government on Tuesday said it has recorded three cases of bird flu outbreak and has culled over 5,000 birds in the state.
Dr Abdullahi Birniwa, the Director, Veterinary Service, State’s Ministry of Agriculture made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Dutse.
Birniwa said the outbreaks were recorded in three different farms in Hadejia, Taura and Dutse Local Government Areas of the state.
He explained that when the symptoms were noticed in the affected farms, the ministry took a sample to the National Laboratory, Vom in Jos, where it was confirmed.
The director said that the ministry was directed to cull all birds in the affected farms.
According to him, over 5, 000 birds have been culled in the operation.
Birniwas said the affected birds included Turkeys, Ducks, Chickens and Geese.
He further explained that all the affected farms were sprayed with disinfectant to prevent further spread of the disease.
The director said that the operators of the affected farms were directed not put another birds until further notice.
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Bird Flu Appears At 5th Turkey Farm In Minnesota, USA

Bird Flu

Another Minnesota turkey farm is dealing with an outbreak of the bird flu.
State officials confirm a farm in Stearns County found the H5N2 strain of avian influenza, making it the fifth commercial turkey grower to be hit with the virus.
Farms in Lac Qui Parle, Nobles and Pope Counties also have confirmed cases. Whenever the virus shows up, the entire flock must be euthanized.
For the first time, Minnesota turkey growers are dealing with an invisible threat. A highly contagious and deadly strain of avian influenza is wiping out entire flocks.
“There’s an elevated state of awareness,” Steve Olson, executive director of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, said. “They’re going through flocks more often and looking for clinical signs.”
This week alone, the virus affected 92,000 birds on two separate farms, one in Stearns county, the other in Nobles county. In all, 241,000 turkeys have been affected by the virus. One third of the birds died from avian influenza,and two thirds had to be put down to prevent the spread.
“It’s not a farm-to-farm spread, so that’s a good thing,” Olson said.
State health officials believe the source of the outbreaks comes from birds outside the farms.
“Wild water fowl are reservoirs for the virus, but we are also looking into how it is getting placed into the barns where we’re finding it,” said Beth 
Thompson, assistant director of the Board of Animal Health.
The key to fighting the virus is to stop its spread.
“It’s fecal material, so if someone tracks it in or if a bird flies over, that’s how it gets on the site,” Thompson said.
That’s why the 450 farms that make up the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association are adding to their bio-security measures. They’re limiting traffic on farms, washing tires and wheel wells, and disinfecting shoes in and out of the barn.
“I think that’s going to be one of those big barriers that prevents it from getting into a farm,” Olson said.
The biggest impact may be felt on commercial farms, but the reach of avian flu has the potential to touch hobby farms and backyard flocks.
“We’re asking everyone to be vigilant, and if they see anything odd happening to their birds, if there’s mortality or suddenly they’re sick, to contact their veterinarian,” Thompson said.
Health officials said this is not a food safety issue. Also, the risk of people getting sick from avian flu is very low.
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100,000 birds dead, more culled in latest outbreak of avian flu in Taiwan, China

H5N8 Virus Alert

The Taiwanese animal health authority has sent two new reports covering new outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
There were five new outbreaks of H5N8 avian influenza on poultry farms between 6 and 12 February following abnormal mortalities in Yunlin and Chiayi counties and Tainan City. 
One of the farms had turkeys, while the other outbreaks were in geese. In total, 24,790 birds were involved; 4,676 birds died and 20,114 have been culled. 
Thirty further outbreaks have been confirmed with the H5N2 variant of the virus as the cause. The outbreaks started between 19 January and 12 February.
One of the outbreaks was in a wild bird, found dead in Taitung City in the south-east of Taiwan. The affected bird was a black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax; Ardeidae).
Abnormal mortalities were also observed on 29 poultry farms – mostly geese but also some chickens and native chickens – in the counties of Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi and Pingtung as well as Tainan City.
A total of 269,894 birds were affected, of which 95,908 died and 168,686 have been or will be culled. 
In all cases, the farms have been put under movement restrictions. 
Thorough cleaning and disinfection will be conducted after the stamping-out operation. Surrounding poultry farms within a three-kilometre radius of infected farms will remain under intensified surveillance for three months.
Courtesy of The Poultry Site

37,000 birds killed due to avian flu near Netanya, Israel

Bird Flu

An additional 37,000 cases of avian flu have been identified in Kfar Vitkin, a moshav near Netanya, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday. The birds were all turkeys at the Beit Herut coop, were being culled and buried to prevent the spread of the disease, the ministry said. 
Other cases have occurred and undergone treatment throughout the Sharon and Haifa regions, as well as in the Palestinian Authority, over the past few weeks. Some of the impacted areas have included farms in Moshav Halevy, Kibbutz Magal, Binyamina-Givat Ada and Aviel, as well as near Jenin and Kalkilya in the PA.
Courtesy of The Jerusalem Post

5,000 Birds to be killed due to avian flu in Washington State, USA

Bird Flu

Government agriculture officials will kill up to 5,000 ducks, geese, chickens, pheasants and turkeys due to a bird flu outbreak at a hunting operation Washington’s Okanogan county.
About 40 birds at a game farm in Riverside, Washington, were ill over the weekend and tested positive for bird flu. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Washington announced it would kill birds from the flock and establish a quarantine around it.
The birds are used for private hunting excursions and retriever training. The flock represents the largest number of birds the state has had to test and possibly kill during 2015 bird flu outbreaks.
Washington state has now lifted a quarantine in the Tri-Cities but one in Port Angeles remains. No new cases have been found in either location.
An outbreak in California led to 146,000 turkeys being killed at a commercial operation. Several countries including China have banned poultry and eggs from the United States.
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