By Ben Nuelle
72 commercial poultry farms that had confirmed cases of bird flu are now able to restock birds. Friday, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and USDA lifted the quarantine.
Officials say all 72 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.
Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey said it is great the quarantine could be lifted.
“Certainly do have a lot of those folks who do need to get birds on their far. They’ve spent a lot of money on biosecurity. We’re not done with the spring situation. We’re certainly not done with a possibility having avian influenza this fall. Those folks are doing surveillance to make sure they don’t see sick birds or have avian influenza on their farms as well. We are not through the fall migration season yet so it is important to maintain that surveillance and everyone keep their fingers crossed. Hopefully we can get through this fall without any avian influenza,” Northey said.
Five backyard operations remain under quarantine. Backyard facilities must undergo a 180 day fallow period following depopulation before the quarantines can be lifted. It is anticipated these sites will be able to come off of quarantine in the next month.
There were 77 total premises and 31.5 million birds affected with H5N2 HPAI in Iowa. There are 35 commercial turkey flocks, 22 commercial egg production flocks, 13 pullet flocks, 1 chicken breeding flock, 1 mail order hatchery, and 5 backyard flocks.
USDA’s Avian Influenza page, which includes a link to the Fall Plan can be found here.