Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control

Minnesota poultry producers are better prepared to deal with an outbreak of avian influenza than they were during the disasterous year of 2015. Dr. Dale Lauer of Willmar is Assistant Director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and Director of the Poultry Testing Lab in Willmar, and says after H5N2 ravaged poultry flocks 7 years ago, they came up with a series of bio-security measures for poultry producers to follow.

Lauer says the 14 bio-security principals include having individual poultry operations identify a person as a bio-security coordinator, who is in charge of training and enforcement at poultry operations. Lauer also says The State of Minnesota built a new and improved testing station in Willmar.

Lauer says poultry producers in a 60 mile radius drop off samples at the Willmar facility to be tested. He says cases of avian influenza have been detected this winter in Canada and several U.S. states as near at 800 miles away.

Lauer says keep an eye out for dead wild birds, and monitor poultry flocks for signs of lethargy, and if you see something, say something. Poultry producers will need to ratchet up their vigilance as wild birds migrate back into the area this spring.

(JP Cola, KWLM)