Avian influenza remains an area of high concern for those in the poultry industry. Here are 5 news developments concerning avian influenza that you should know:
1. Emergency depopulation by ventilation shutdown considered – As the U.S. poultry industry prepares for the possible return of avian influenza in the fall, government and industry groups are seeking ways to expedite the depopulation process at farms that have been affected by the virus. Ventilation shutdown is one method under consideration, but United Egg Producers President Chad Gregory stresses that if approved, that method will likely only be used when all other possible depopulation options have been exhausted.
2. NCC names top avian flu biosecurity principles – The National Chicken Council has identified what it considers to be the top biosecurity principles to prevent the spread of avian influenza, should it resurface in the United States. Those include but are not limited to minimizing visitors and foot traffic on the farm, avoiding contact with wild and domestic fowl, not sharing farm equipment, and having a clean and functioning footbath at each broiler house entrance.
3. Iowa State University poultry farm off limits to students – To prevent the spread of avian influenza, Iowa State University has cancelled classes held at its poultry farms, and will instead teach using other means including textbooks and videos.
4. U.S. lifts avian flu-related bans on poultry from Ontario – The USDA has lifted its ban on the import of poultry and poultry products from Ontario, citing that the risk of avian influenza’s spread has been minimized.
5. Ghana urging avian influenza biosecurity – Government officials in Ghana are urging those in the poultry industry to step up biosecurity measures to reduce the spread of avian influenza. Since May, an estimated 24,000 birds in Ghana have been affected by avian influenza.