All Quarantines Lifted on Iowa Farms Affected by Bird Flu

US - All of the 72 commercial Iowa poultry farms that had a confirmed case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have had the quarantines on their facilities lifted.
calendar icon 10 November 2015
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The move, announced by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the US Department of Agriculture, means that the facilities are now able to restock with birds.

All sites have completed the cleaning and disinfection process and had negative environmental tests. They also had to undergo a 21 day fallow period following disinfection before the quarantine could be lifted.

There were 77 total premises and 31.5 million birds affected with H5N2 HPAI in Iowa.

Five backyard operations remain under quarantine. Backyard facilities must undergo a 180 day fallow period following depopulation before the quarantines can be lifted and birds brought back to the farm. The Iowa Department said that it is anticipated that these sites will be able to come off of quarantine in the next month.

Importance of biosecurity continues to be emphasised

Now that fall migration of wild waterfowl is underway, US officials reminded bird owners once again to exercise biosecurity to prevent the return of the disease.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a report last month on its planning and preparation for a potential recurrence of the disease.

APHIS’ autumn (fall) plan focuses on four major areas: preventing or reducing future outbreaks; enhanced preparedness; improved and streamlined response capabilities; and preparing for the potential use of AI vaccines.

APHIS’ fall planning report not only discusses planning and preparedness activities but also contains links to updated policies, guidance documents, and background information, including a biosecurity self-assessment for the poultry industry, criteria for using ventilation shutdown as a depopulation method and a plan for how vaccine could potentially be used.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, together with USDA, partner state agencies and industry stakeholders have conducted after-action reviews and preparedness planning.

USDA’s Avian Influenza page, which includes a link to the Fall Plan can be found here.

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