Skip to main content

Bird flu has Minnesota turkey industry on 'pins and needles'

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

America's biggest turkey-producing state has a lot to lose if avian influenza sends more income flying away from Minnesota poultry farms.

That's why growers are tightening procedures to limit the spread of the H5N2 strain of the virus. On some farms the tires of vehicles are now cleaned with disinfectant both before and after visits to turkey barns, the Associated Press reports.

That comes on top of requirements that the people entering those barns wear protective clothing and in some cases take showers on the way in or out, the AP says.

The stepped-up biosecurity comes after last week's confirmation of the second and third outbreaks at Minnesota turkey farms this month.

The flu decimated flocks at the affected turkey farms and surviving birds were destroyed to keep the virus from spreading.

Steve Olson, who directs the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association tells the Faribault Daily News the outbreaks have now claimed 145,000 birds.

MPR News shows the locations of the three affected farms and offers more background on the avian flu.

This embed is invalid

As MPR notes, it's possible for humans who come in contact with infected turkeys or their droppings to contract bird flu but there have been no reports of that in the current outbreak, which now includes farms in Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas as well as a handful of western states.

A U of M expert agrees with the Turkey Growers Association in telling MPR the virus does not threaten food safety.

What is threatened is an industry that KSTP says generated $800 million in Minnesota last year.

This embed is invalid

More than 40 countries have banned imports of Minnesota turkeys since avian flu was confirmed on a Pope County farm in early March.

The U of M's Carol Cardona tells the AP it's not clear how the virus reached the Minnesota farms.

But the university's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy reported last week that testing by the DNR ruled out wild waterfowl as the source of the first outbreak.

Next Up

nicolas blouin flickr fire hose

Fire departments decry drivers running over hoses, endangering crews

It happened in two separate Northland cities this week.

All Energy Solar - Bringing Panels to Roof

All Energy Solar reaches growth milestones with higher goals yet for 2022

Minnesota solar company continues to thrive through building a strong workforce

Royal Canadian Mounted Police maintoba crossing crop

Authorities ID family found frozen to death at MN-Canada border

They're still trying to unravel how they got there and who might have helped them.

covid

Mayo Clinic specialist: 'The omicron surge is not over'

Experts expect a rapid decline over the next month followed a period of calm.

police lights

Charges: Man in stolen Jeep leads police on 110 mph chase

He crashed into a light post near the Capitol and then fled on foot, the complaint says.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.

FKISmwPWUAYZJW6

Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 27

Cases remain very high but hospitalizations have been plateaued for the past week.

Related