The Iowa Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that a turkey farm that was infected with the bird flu completed the cleaning and disinfection process and is starting over.
Iowa Turkey Federation spokesperson, Gretta Irwin, says they are pleased to see the progress. “It’s definitely good news that the turkey farms that have been impacted with the high path avian influenza are starting to restock now in Iowa,” Irwin says.
The turkey farms composted the dead birds in their buildings and then those buildings had be cleaned and tested before new birds could be brought in. “Our first farm is the Moline farm up in Manson. And they placed birds this last week and are getting back into production,” Irwin says.
The farm in Calhoun County was confirmed to have the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza on May 19th. This farm had six barns that hold 28,800 turkey poults that ranged from birth to five weeks of age, and 14,400 finisher turkeys that are five to 20 weeks of age.
New birds were place in the buildings last Friday (July 31st) Irwin says they it won’t belong before more turkey farms follow. “Other farms are currently in the stage of testing,” Irwin explains, “so they have to have tests in their barns to prove that there is no virus in those barns to prove that they can repopulate. So there’ll be other farms coming quite soon.”
There were some 34 million turkeys and chickens destroyed after they became infected. Irwin says “This has been very hard on the turkey farmers who have lost their birds to high path A-I. And seeing other farms becoming repopulated is very encouraging to all of those farmers,” Irwin says. “This tragedy is about ready to end and they can get back to what they do best — which is raising and caring for turkeys.”
The Iowa Department of Agriculture says it is in the process of lifting 69 of the 77 control zones that were established around facilities in Iowa infected with the avian flu.
The control zones were established around each site with a confirmed case of the disease and all poultry that were located within the control zone surrounding an infected site were quarantined and all movement of poultry and poultry products, feed, fuel in and out of those quarantined non-infected facilities had to be permitted by the Ag Department.