On Wednesday, Governor Tim Walz signed an executive order to help fight the spread of avian influenza in Minnesota.

Executive Order 22-21 waives trucking regulations restricting weight restrictions and hours of service for equipment used in emergency response efforts by poultry growers, industry associations and animal health experts. The order is in effect until October 28.

Four poultry operations have been hit by bird flu in southwestern Minnesota in the past month. There were two in Stearns County and two in Meeker County, affecting a total of about 234,000 birds. Minnesota ranks first in turkey production.

Emergency equipment and materials defined in the order include feed trucks, load-out trailers, feed, materials used exclusively for the composting process of animals that have been depopulated due to HPAI, live poultry, and animal carcasses.

HPAI was first detected last March, and poses a high risk for poultry but not for humans. Currently, there are no food safety regulations in place.

 

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