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Avian flu detected on Missouri and Texas farms

Avian flu detected on Missouri and Texas farms

Both farms have been placed under quarantine, depopulation may follow

By Diego Flammini
News Reporter
Farms.com

A large turkey operation in Missouri has been placed under quarantine after the discovery of a strain of bird flu on the farm.

The H7N1 strain, a low-pathogenic form, was detected on Feb. 26 on a farm in Jasper County during pre-processing testing.

The farm is home to about 20,000 birds, Dr. John Clifford, the chief trade advisor and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) delegate with the USDA, told OIE in his report.

The discovery marks the first confirmed case of H7N1 in the U.S. this year.

So far, there hasn’t been any noticeable changes in the flock but the producer may lose some of the turkeys.

“There have been no clinical signs of illness or increased mortality on the premises,” Dr. Clifford said in his report. “The turkeys will be depopulated through controlled marketing.”

Two commercial poultry farms in a six-mile area were also tested for avian flu. Those results came back negative.

Poultry producers in Missouri aren’t the only ones battling avian flu.

The H7N1 strain has also been confirmed on a broiler flock in Hopkins County, Texas.

Dr. Clifford alerted the OIE on March 9.

The farm is home to more than 24,000 birds. The animals have begun to show signs of illness, Dr. Clifford said in his report.

“The flock exhibited a slight increase in mortality and a decrease in egg production,” his report said. “Depopulation of the premises is underway.”

The disease detections in Texas and Missouri are the first cases of avian flu in the U.S. since a March 2017 discovery on two farms in Tennessee.

Yuri Arcurs peopleimages.com/iStock/Getty Images Plus