Meeker County turkeys test positive for avian flu

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health says a commercial turkey flock has tested positive for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).

The presence of HPAI was confirmed in a flock of 140,000 commercial turkeys in Meeker County, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

The site of the infection is quarantined and other birds on the premises were moved to prevent the spread of HPAI, officials say.

“Unfortunately, HPAI seems to keep popping up during the seasonal migrations in Minnesota,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Brian Hoefs. “Before today’s detection our most recent cases were in the spring of this year. Anyone who has poultry should take this detection as a clear sign to keep a close eye on their flock and initiate your strongest biosecurity practices.”

Officials say poultry owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if their flock is showing signs of a decrease in feed or water take, swelling or purple discoloration of the head, a decrease in egg production, sudden death, extreme depression, quietness, or difficulty breathing.

If you are a veterinarian and receive reports of clinical signs of avian influenza, call the Minnesota Avian Influenza Hotline at 833-454-0156 or submit a sick bird report online.