Meat & Livestock News

HPAI Outbreaks Now Registered in 12 States Across the U.S.

Hands of female veterinarian in white gloves with syringe and white Leghorn chicken on gray background with copy space. Treatment of chickens from avian flu, infectious bronchitis, bronchopneumonia

The list of U.S. states reporting outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has now expanded to include California, as per the recent figures from the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

A commercial facility in Merced County, California, witnessed the impact on roughly 31,600 turkeys. This incident brings the count of states with commercial turkey farms reporting HPAI to five, with the total affected turkeys rising to an estimated 325,500 within a week, as stated by APHIS.

Earlier HPAI instances in California were identified among 29,100 commercial breeder ducks in Merced County this past February.

The poultry industry has pointed to the annual autumn migration of wild birds, potential HPAI carriers, as a contributing factor to the recent outbreaks. Just a week ago, these outbreaks were noted in seven U.S. states and certain regions of Canada.

Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture Secretary, has recently proposed that measures to bolster biosecurity against HPAI should be maintained throughout the year, given the frequency of recent outbreaks.

The USDA has pledged an investment of $500 million to aid efforts in curbing the HPAI spread during the summer months and is currently in the process of evaluating HPAI vaccines.