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Wednesday, July 1, 2015
$1.1 million for Iowa avian influenza response approved
The Iowa Executive Council has agreed to authorize a request from the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for up to $1.1 million to cover costs associated with the response to the avian influenza outbreak that has severely harmed the state’s egg industry.
The council approved the measure by a 3-1 vote, according to a report from The Gazette.
Bill Northey, the state’s agriculture secretary, has said the avian influenza ranks as Iowa’s worst animal health emergency, and could cost federal and state agencies up to $300 million in the cleanup, disposal and disinfection. That does not include the financial losses poultry producers are experiencing.
While Minnesota has had more confirmed cases of avian influenza, Iowa has had more birds affected than any other state. According to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), about 31.7 million birds in Iowa have been affected by the virus, with the majority of those birds being from layer operations.
Cases of avian influenza have been on the decline since the arrival of summer months, with the last case confirmed in Iowa occurring on June 17. In that case, 1 million layers in a Wright County, Iowa, flock were affected by the virus.