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USDA Detects Avian Influenza in Indiana – Commissioner Strain urges poultry owners to maintain biosecurity

January 15, 2016

Baton Rouge, La. (January 15, 2016) – Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana.

Federal officials said the Indiana case is a different strain of HPAI than the strains that caused the 2015 outbreak. They added that there are no known cases of H7N8 infections in humans.

Avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat. The Centers for Disease Control considers the risk of illness to humans to be very low.

“This new case of HPAI in Indiana should serve as reminder to all Louisiana poultry producers that while we haven’t had any cases of the disease in our state the threat remains. I’m urging all poultry owners to be vigilant with biosecurity protocols in order to protect our valuable poultry industry,” Strain said.

Anyone involved with poultry production, from the small backyard to the large commercial producer, should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. To facilitate such a review, a biosecurity self-assessment and educational materials can be found at http://www.uspoultry.org/animal_husbandry/intro.cfm

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through your state veterinarian at 225-925-3980, the LDAF toll-free Hotline at 1-866-927-2476 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. For avian influenza information, visit our website at www.ldaf.state.la.us/louisiana-prepares-for-avian-influenza