Although migratory birds are viewed as being behind the spread of HPAI H5 across the Western half of the nation, experience has shown that once a commercial operation becomes infected, it is all too easy to spread the virus via the movement of personnel, equipment or poultry products.
While less affected than many of its Midwestern neighbors (only 2 outbreaks so far), North Dakota is imposing some strict rules on the movement of poultry and other birds in hopes of staving off additional outbreaks.
Today’s order, which will be reviewed on June 10th, strives to prevent the intermingling of birds from around the state at shows, exhibitions and public sales. This review is scheduled roughly 3 days before the start of that state’s county fair season – where roughly two dozen fairs (many featuring livestock exhibits) are scheduled across the state between June and August.
North Dakota’s State Fair runs from July 17-25, 2015 in Minot, ND.
Last week, you may recall there were media reports out of Minnesota (see Avian flu places State Fair poultry exhibition in doubt) suggesting similar measures may be needed there this summer.
Many will recall the problems that swine variant flu viruses caused pig exhibitors during the summers between 2011 and 2013 (see CDC HAN Advisory On H3N2v), and more recently concerns have emerged over the spread of PEDV (see Fair Biosecurity & H3N2 In North Dakota Show Pigs).
While there are hopes that summer temperatures will dampen down the avian flu threat – at least until the fall – states must weigh their options and decide on how best to reduce to the risks to their poultry industry.
This from the North Dakota Board of Animal Health.
Submitted April 28, 2015
BISMARCK, N.D. – To protect North Dakota’s poultry industry from potential exposure to H5 avian influenza virus, the State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has halted bird movement to shows, exhibitions and public sales within the state in which birds from different locations are intermingled at an event. This does not apply to approved private sales that meet North Dakota importation requirements.
“The state board is taking this precaution to reduce the risk of avian influenza exposure to North Dakota birds,” State Veterinarian Dr. Susan Keller said. “Mixing birds could unnecessarily increase the risk of exposure.”
This board action prohibits the specified poultry/bird movements until further notice. BOAH is continuing to monitor and assess the disease threat, which will be reviewed at their June 10 quarterly meeting.
North Dakota has had two confirmed cases of avian influenza in commercial poultry operations in Dickey and LaMoure counties affecting over 100,000 birds. Nationally, the outbreak has affected nearly 10 million birds in 13 states.
Bird owners should immediately report death loss to their local and state veterinarian, restrict access to their property, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and practice enhanced biosecurity.
State Veterinarian Dr. Susan Keller is reminding anyone bringing birds into North Dakota to contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division at 701-328-2655 to ensure they are meeting all importation requirements.