WattAgNet: Low pathogenic avian flu detected in Wisconsin


State health officials confirmed an outbreak of H5N2 avian influenza in Barron County, Wisconsin. It is not related to the Tennessee outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Low pathogenic avian influenza is present in Wisconsin, according to state health officials.

On March 6, representatives of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said a low pathogenic strain of the disease – H5N2 – was detected in a commercial turkey flock in Barron County, Wisconsin.

Raechelle Belli, a spokeswoman for the department’s division of animal health, said the 84,000 bird flock is being monitored and quarantined, but not depopulated. The flock’s owner will test the birds for avian influenza every seven days and marketing of the birds will only be allowed after testing negative for the disease.

Belli said the case is not related to a separate, highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in Lincoln County, Tennessee. That case affected a Tyson Foods Inc. breeder flock and lead to a cull of the 73,500 birds and testing of all flocks within a six-mile radius of the farm. The Tennessee case has been confirmed as an H7 virus of wild bird linage.

The recent outbreak of avian influenza are the first cases confirmed in a U.S. commercial flock since early 2016. Veterinary authorities and poultry industry groups are urging increased scrutiny of biosecurity procedures in response to the disease. The 2015-2016 outbreak of avian influenza rocked the US egg industry, claiming millions of birds and causing a tremendous economic impact.

The presence of the disease in Tennessee and Wisconsin prompted South Korea to ban some U.S. poultry imports and Singapore and Taiwan to ban poultry imports from the affected…

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