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Bird Flu May Return to the Area this Spring

Area counties such as Wright have had to destroy a number of chicken flocks this fall because of the bird flu that was spread by migratory birds. It was hoped that would be the end of the flu in the area for a while, however Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says the threat of bird flu continues to hang over Iowa’s poultry industry, as migrating wild birds are identified as the likely source of bird flu outbreaks at seven Iowa sites this fall.

A hard freeze will help drive birds out of the state, as their landing spots on Iowa lakes and streams turn to ice. During the last bird flu outbreak in 2015, the virus had essentially vanished by June. During this year’s outbreak, wild birds continue to spread the deadly disease nine months after it was first detected.

Naig plans to ask the 2023 legislature for additional funds to enhance his agency’s ability to prevent and respond to foreign animal diseases.

African Swine Fever is a deadly virus that has been spreading in Asia and Europe since 2018 but has not been detected in the United States. Foot and Mouth Disease has not been confirmed in the U.S. since 1929, but an outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001 led to the destruction of a million animals.

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