State Prepares For Potential Return Of Bird Flu

chickensNorthwest Iowa — With spring’s arrival, poultry producers in northwest Iowa, and across the state, are on alert for a possible return of avian influenza, which decimated flocks last year. State officials are taking steps to more efficiently euthanize birds if the disease strikes again.

Joyce Flinn, head of the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says the necessary equipment is being stored in safe places around the state.

State Emergency Management helped coordinate the response last year, which included hauling water to affected areas to mix with foam to kill birds, and coordinating haz-mat teams for cleanup. If there’s another outbreak, Flinn says they’re ready.

Spring migration could re-create last year’s conditions that lead to a widespread outbreak. Some 34-million birds on 77 Iowa farms had to be destroyed after contracting the virus.

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