Indiana Animal Health Council Releases Clear Information on Avian Flu May Have Been Brought to Dubois and Greene Counties by Migratory Birds |
DUBOIS COUNTY — A sigh of relief runs through farms this week as the Indiana Animal Health Council gave the “green light” following an outbreak of avian flu in southwestern Indiana.
A sigh of relief runs through farms this week as the Indiana Animal Health Council gave the “green light” following an outbreak of avian flu in southwestern Indiana.
“Absolutely a sense of relief,” said Nathan Wagler, a Montgomery-area turkey farmer. “When that happens, you just don’t know how bad the harm can get. You keep your fingers crossed and keep moving forward with hope. It’s been the same for six weeks. We’ve covered some basics and just hope it gets better. The good news is that it looks like it’s getting better.
BOAH monitored six farms, four in Dubois and two in Greene County. The first outbreak occurred in early February. Now the authorities have released the quarantine zones which had extended 6.2 miles around the infected places. A total of 171,224 birds were euthanized as part of the flu fight.
For farmers located between these two counties, the period has been difficult and has led to increased biosecurity.
“After the outbreak in 2015, we got used to a new concept. So with what’s happened over the past few weeks, it wasn’t difficult to adapt to the rules because for the most part we were already doing them,” Wagler said. “Bird flu scares turkey producers. It’s like a bad dream and it feels good to wake up.
With the cases being in Greene and Dubois counties, the problems are believed to have been caused by migrating birds.
“It’s a head-scratching situation,” Wagler said. “Among the farmers, the theory is that it was the result of migrating birds. You have Goose Pond in Greene County and Patoka Lake in Dubois County. Migratory birds seem to be the culprits.
National turkey officials agree the problem appears to have arisen in birds returning north for the summer.
“This case is clearly the result of migrating birds,” National Turkey Federation president Joel Brandenberger said. “The federal government monitors migratory birds and watches the Mississippi Valley flyway that spans Indiana. We have seen an increase in wild birds. The number of isolated cases roughly confirms that it was brought by migratory birds where we have limited and isolated transmission.
These limited cases, however, had a significant impact on southwestern Indiana. The state tested 1,561 commercial herds in the region and an additional 452 backyard herds.
“Southern Indiana industry and state government have been very good with quick responses that help contain things,” Brandenberger said. “There is nothing absolute but all the ingredients are in place to maintain this during a small confined event.”
Although the go-ahead has been announced, there are still a few specific items to be resolved on farms affected by avian flu. BOAH reports that farms in Dubois County are still under quarantine until the final stages are completed. These include compost disposal, virus removal, environmental sampling for the presence of virus, and a fallow period.
Remaining growers should stay tuned as the migration season continues in the Mississippi Flyway.
“We’re going to have to keep a close eye on other potential threats from migratory birds,” Wagler said. “It will continue until the weather warms up to around 70-75 degrees. We’re going to be running a bit of a tightrope for a while.
Indiana is the nation’s third-largest turkey producer, and most of the production for this multimillion-dollar industry is located in Daviess (Indiana’s second-largest turkey producer) and Dubois (largest turkey producer) counties. Indiana turkey).
That’s reason enough to continue to worry about bird flu.
“Bird flu is something that the whole industry is always worried about and always taking precautions against,” Brandenberger said.