Poultry Operation In Fourth Missouri County Depopulated Amid Spread of HPAI

A fourth poultry operation in Missouri has been subject to depopulation after the latest discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza.  Nearly 38,000 turkeys at a commercial farm in Lawrence County were destroyed to prevent further spread of the disease, which over the weekend was also detected in Kansas and Wisconsin to bring the number of states impacted to 15.  Missouri Department of Agriculture communications director Christi Miller says while waterfowl migrating for the spring are seen as carriers of the virus, they’re not the only way it can be brought into a flock.

Miller says the HPAI strain does cause a sharp increase in death rate and illness among infected birds.

A statewide ban on waterfowl auctions, shows and swap meets is in effect until late May.  Counties with positive cases won’t be able to host any poultry event until the virus is no longer present.  Currently no human infections have occurred from the ongoing outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Additional information about HPAI is available on the Missouri Department of Agriculture website and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.