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Quarantine lifted on all MN farms previously infected with bird flu

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The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is giving farms in the state the all-clear.

The agency announced Tuesday it has lifted the last of the quarantines that were placed farms infected with avian influenza (HPAI) this year, and they can now begin restocking barns with poultry.

Ninety percent of the previously infected sites had been cleared by the Board of Animal Health as of Oct. 6.

"Restocked poultry on all the affected farms have tested negative, which provides additional assurances that the HPAI virus has been eradicated from Minnesota," the agency said in Tuesday's announcement.

The first case of the bird flu in Minnesota was announced on March 5, while the last case of HPAI was confirmed in June. In all, 108 farms in 23 counties were infected with the virus and over 9 million birds died or were euthanized during the outbreak.

"While seeing no new cases of HPAI is encouraging, we know that detecting future cases remains a possibility," Dr. Bill Hartmann, state veterinarian and executive director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health said in the release.

The state Board of Animal Health says it continues to work with government and industry partners to enhance biosecurity efforts to prevent the spread of future disease.

The bird flu outbreak this spring caused U.S. poultry producers to lose more than 48 million birds. Minnesota – the country's top turkey producer – and Iowa – the top chicken-egg producer – were the hardest hit, The Associated Press reports.

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