HOUSE GOP STATEMENT ON CONFIRMED AVIAN INFLUENZA CASES
BADGER, MN — Rep. John Burkel, R-Badger, issued the following statement regarding today's news that H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been confirmed in two flocks in Meeker and Mower Counties.
"Minnesotans need to know that poultry remains safe to eat, and the best thing we can do to support our poultry industry is to keep buying Minnesota-made chicken and turkey," Burkel said. "This is incredibly difficult and devastating news for our poultry farmers who went through this crisis in 2015, but the good news we are much more prepared this time around. Thankfully the legislature made critical investments in biosecurity and research, and built the Minnesota Poultry Testing Lab in Willmar that has dramatically increased testing capacity so we can respond more quickly to potential outbreaks.
"I will continue working with my colleagues on the Agriculture Committee, the Board of Animal Health, and the Department of Agriculture to ensure we are doing everything we can at the legislative level to support our poultry farmers and make sure we have the resources needed to test and respond accordingly and stop the spread of avian flu."
Rep. Burkel currently serves as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, and is a fourth generation turkey producer. Burkel served for ten years from 1999-2009 on the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association Board, and on the National Turkey Federation Executive Committee from 2007-2017, including serving as chair in 2013.