Mike Naig. (file photo IPBS)

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig says the state is getting closer to the end of the bird flu outbreak.

There are just a few commercial poultry sites left to release from quarantine and then they can bring in new birds. He says that’s not the only step in recovery. “There’s the financial piece of this as well, which is a significant disrupter, and it’s a financial hardship for these producers. And so, in terms of financial recovery, that could take time,” Naig says.

The process for lifting the quarantine involves cleaning and disinfecting the sites and then testing for the virus. “It takes some time for these things to happen. And we anticipate that by the end of June, all of the quarantines will have been lifted,” Naig says.

The U.S. Ag Department pays producers for their bird losses and for cleaning and disinfecting their barns, but Naig says these payments don’t make producers whole. More than 13 million birds in Iowa have died from the disease or been killed to stop it from spreading.

The state had its last case of bird flu in early May.

(By Katie Piekes, Iowa Public Radio)