URBANDALE, Iowa (PRWEB) May 01, 2015 -- The Iowa Poultry Association and Iowa Egg Council have been informed of a total of 11 cases of avian influenza on commercial farms, all in northwest Iowa. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardships announced three of those new poultry cases on April 30 — in Buena Vista County, Kossuth County and Clay County. Executive Director Randy Olson issued the following statement:
“The spread of this disease is a serious and urgent situation for the poultry industry. On behalf of our member organizations, we have been working in concert with state and federal regulatory agencies, urging them to swiftly and rigorously coordinate efforts to address and curtail the disease.
“We recognize this issue is overwhelming in many respects for those involved, and government leaders have been diligent in their response. The H5N2 virus is aggressive, able to decimate a flock within 48 hours. While it’s believed that migratory bird droppings have caused the outbreaks throughout the Midwest, and while each of the affected Iowa farms maintained strict biosecurity measures, it’s vital for government leaders to continue to communicate the methods by which the avian influenza is spreading and then find methods to stop it.
“Just as with the earlier confirmed cases, safety and security measures are in full force on these farms to contain the spread of the disease. It’s an absolute necessity for everyone, including the public, to avoid going anywhere near these farms to prevent this disease from spreading.
“Our message to all poultry owners, even those who own a single bird in the backyard, from chickens to turkeys to ducks, is to pay attention and follow biosecurity steps. It's up to everyone to be vigilant in their observation of their flock, looking for signs and working with a local vet to bring an end to this situation.”
Avian influenza is an infectious disease of birds caused by type A strains of the influenza virus. The identified strains identified are not a threat to human health. The disease is not carried in foods (eggs, chicken or turkey).
Agricultural experts believe that as temperatures rise, the outbreaks should subside as the virus thrives only in cooler weather.
Iowa is the leading egg producer in the U.S. providing about one-in-five eggs sold nationwide.
About the Iowa Egg Council
The Iowa Egg Council is a producer-supported organization established in 1973. Its mission is to increase consumption of eggs through promotion, education and research.
About the Iowa Poultry Association
The Iowa Poultry Association provides for industry response to consumer, regulatory, environmental and political issues, joining forces with members to accomplish what individual firms can't do alone. IPA helps create a strong climate in Iowa for egg and poultry farmers through efforts to educate and inform.
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Randy Olson, Iowa Poultry Association, http://www.iowapoultry.com/, +1 (515) 727-4701, [email protected]