H5N2 strikes more Minnesota farms, South Dakota flock

Saturday, April 18, 2015
By Paul Martin

Jim Wappes
CIDRAP News
Apr 17, 2015

Highly pathogenic H5N2 avian flu has struck turkeys on four more Minnesota farms plus one in South Dakota in an outbreak that has now affected more than 1.7 million Minnesota birds, officials said.

In an update today, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said that Otter Tail and Roseau counties in Minnesota have been affected for the first time. The virus felled birds in a flock of 21,000 turkeys in Otter Tail County, whereas a farm housing 26,000 turkeys was affected in Roseau County.

In addition, Stearns County reported its sixth H5N2 outbreak, in a flock of 67,000 turkeys. And Kandiyohi County logged its fifth outbreak, affecting 152,000 turkeys. Kandiyohi and Stearns are the top turkey-producing counties in Minnesota, while Otter Tail is fifth, according to data from the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association. The state leads the nation in turkey production.

Roseau County is in the far northwestern part of the state, adjacent to Canada, marking by far the farthest north incursion of H5N2 in the state to date. Otter Tail, in the central western portion of the state, is also farther north than previous outbreaks.

Fourteen Minnesota counties have now been affected by 26 farm outbreaks, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health (MBAH). All told, 1,718,500 Minnesota turkeys have been affected since the outbreak began in the state in early March.

All the Minnesota farms reside on the Mississippi flyway for migratory birds. Experts have said wild birds may play a role in H5N2 spread.

5th South Dakota farm affected

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