We are watching carefully the developments in an avian flu outbreak similar to the outbreak we had in 2015. As of today, there have been several confirmed diagnoses of avian flu in Minnesota, in Lac Qui Parle, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Morrison, Mower and Stearns counties.
Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. The USDA has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at:
The Board of Animal Health has also set up a website with resources and I encourage you to visit it to learn more about ways to prevent outbreaks: https://www.bah.state.mn.us/hpai/
In 2015, 9 million birds in Minnesota were killed by the virus, or had to be euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease. In order to support the industry at that time, the legislature provided significant funding to help deal with the emergency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and animal board of health worked together to help provide farmers with information, testing supplies and other resources to contain and mitigate the effects of the disease.
Avian influenza does not pose a food safety risk and poultry products remain safe and nutritious. Poultry with HPAI cannot be sold and are prohibited from entering the marketplace. Consumers should continue to practice proper handling and cooking of all poultry products. This is also not a disease that is known to spread to humans.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I will direct you to the appropriate source of information.