At Iowa FFP, we encourage two-way dialog and seek to share content that is relevant to what readers are currently interested in receiving. Throughout the coming months, we will share answers to actual questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit your question, and we might answer it in a future edition! Of course, if you would like an immediate answer, you can always contact us.
A special thanks to our partners at the Iowa Turkey Federation and Iowa Poultry Association for providing information about the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Note: Because HPAI is continuously evolving, information may change as warranted.
Please note, by clicking the links below, you’ll be leaving a partially funded checkoff site.
Question: How did the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) get to Iowa?
Answer: Migrating birds are the natural reservoirs (carriers) of avian influenza viruses. Bird flu is spread by migrating waterfowl and despite a farmer’s best efforts, the disease sometimes gets onto a farm. The poultry industry and farmers are collaborating with our government partners to quickly contain any detections and stop the spread.
Although wild birds can carry 144 possible subtypes of avian influenza viruses, rarely does it cause illness or mortality to them but can infect domesticated poultry. The industry is using real-time maps, like (BirdCast - Bird migration forecasts in real-time) to monitor migration of the birds.
Question: What is the industry doing do prevent the spread of HPAI?
Answer: Iowa’s farmers are doing heightened biosecurity. Biosecurity means procedures to stop the movement of the virus from outside the barns to birds inside a barn. Some of the actions by farmers include washing truck tires, intense cleaning and sanitization of equipment and work boots and clothing, and limited interaction between differing farms. Iowa’s poultry farmers are vigilantly watching their bird’s behaviors, including monitoring for lethargic birds, decreased feed and water intake, and increased mortality. Farmers communicate with their veterinarians and send samples to the Diagnostic Lab for testing as soon as signs of illness are recognized.