Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

U.S. Avian Influenza Outbreak Brings New Set of Challenges Says USDA Chief Veterinarian

Mon, 27 Apr 2015 18:56:52 CDT

U.S. Avian Influenza Outbreak Brings New Set of Challenges Says USDA Chief Veterinarian About seven million turkeys and chickens have died from Avian Influenza virus outbreak that has spread to 16 states. Since December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has spent $99 million dollars in addressing the H5N2 virus. USDA Chief Veterinary Officer Dr. John Clifford said this deadly virus that has adapted to wild water fowl. But unlike previous avian influenza outbreaks, this strain doesn't seem the kill the wild water fowl. Clifford said for the first time, we are seeing this highly pathogenic avian influenza virus move around the flyaway of the world.

Clifford said the virus started in the Asian flyaway and it has gone around South Korea and now it's in North America. Since December 2014, the highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N2) has been reported along the Pacific, Central and Mississippi Flyways. The virus has been transmitted to wild birds, captive wild birds, backyard poultry and commercial poultry. This virus is considered a very low risk for humans. USDA has been working closely with the Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control. Clifford said this is not a food safety risk.

Cases have been reported in Arkansas, California, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Clifford said this virus can be devastating to both turkeys and chickens, as mortality can reach 100 percent with turkeys and 60 percent with broilers. Further he said turkeys have an ability to easily pass the virus from bird to bird, while chickens seem to be a little more resistant to it. Part of that is the difference in how turkeys are raised versus chickens.

One of the most severely hit areas has been in Minnesota, Clifford said in having numerous lakes, that environment has led to spread of this virus. With this virus transmitted by waterfowl, Clifford said that requires a difference strategy for surveillance and prevention. If the virus is present in wild water fowl, Clifford said all wild water fowl are a potential source of contamination. He said turkey and poultry producers have to think about things like how feed is stored, grain spilled on the ground and how that could attract migrating waterfowl and in turn spread the virus to their poultry.

"You have to treat every individual house as a bio secure unit and even then its risk because of issues like winds," Clifford said.

This virus does not travel long distances in wind, but with 20 - 40 mile per hour winds in these areas, Clifford said the virus can be spread on any kind of dirt, dust or feathers. In looking ahead to the summer months, he said the numbers will drop substantially because the virus will survive in hot weather as direct sunlight will kill the virus. However, he is concerned the outbreak will reappear in the fall when colder weather returns.

USDA's Agricultural Research Service is working on developing a vaccine to prevent this virus. Clifford is not sure if a vaccine can be developed by this fall as a preventative measure. He said the U.S. will further ramp up biosecurity in order to prevent outbreaks, if this dominating virus is still present in wild water fowl this fall.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear Dr. Clifford's comments made to NAFB farm broadcasters- in our nation's Capitol for the 2015 edition of their annual Washington Watch fly in.



Dr. John Clifford briefs Farm Broadcasters about the Avian Flu outbreak.
right-click to download mp3


WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Oklahoma Youth Expo Sale of Champions Sale Order Available Here- Sale Set for 4 PM Friday  Fri, 17 Mar 2023 04:50:54 CDT
  • Rural Voters Dominated Vote to Defeat Recreational Marijuana March 7th  Fri, 10 Mar 2023 07:13:05 CST
  • Ron Hays Talks to Israeli Ag Tour Guide Colin Lotzof About the Miraclel of Ag in Israel  Wed, 22 Feb 2023 22:11:04 CST
  • OALP Members Experience First Hand View of Cutting Edge Drip Irrigation Technology as Israel Travel Ends  Wed, 22 Feb 2023 10:51:49 CST
  • OALP Members Get First Hand View of Cutting Edge Drip Irrigation Technology as Israel Travel Ends  Wed, 22 Feb 2023 10:50:10 CST
  • Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Sees Fruit, Beef and Dairy Production North of the Sea of Galilee in Israel  Mon, 20 Feb 2023 21:56:02 CST
  • Oklahoma Ag Leadership Program Sees Diverse Farm Operations in Jordan River Valley of Israel  Sun, 19 Feb 2023 21:17:30 CST
  • Israeli Tour Guide Mark Kedem Talks About The Cultural Aspects of What Class XX of OALP is Experiencing   Sat, 18 Feb 2023 22:17:23 CST

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma Beef council Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment Oklahoma City Farm Show Union Mutual Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association KIS FUTURES, INC.

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2023 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.