Supervisors in north central Iowa’s Wright County this afternoon issued an order that closes 50 roads in the county to public traffic, hoping to stop the spread of the avian flu to poultry flocks in the area. Wright County Supervisor Stan Watne said the move is an extension of the state of emergency the board issued Thursday.
“We’re going to close some roads, but we’ll still allow farmers to access fields and residents to access their houses, but the resolution is to get any type of poultry products or even residue no closer than five miles to any of the chicken facilities here in Wright County,” he said.
There are more than 20 poultry operations in Wright County, housing nearly 15 million birds. No other county in the state has more poultry. The Wright County Sheriff is now working with the Iowa Highway Patrol and other local law enforcement agencies to carry out the supervisors’ plan to dramatically restrict traffic in Wright County.
“And we’re hoping that will lessen our risk of getting the avian flu,” Watne said.
The highly contagious strain of the flu that has struck 17 poultry flocks in northwest Iowa has now struck in central Iowa. State officials announced early this afternoon that tests suggest avian flu has struck at four more facilities, including one in Madison County, along with sites in Sac, Pocahontas and Cherokee Counties. The governor moments ago declared a state of emergency and issued a statewide disaster declaration to mobilize state resources.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City; additional reporting by Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson)