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Dairy Facts 2016

Will Fall Bring Another Bird Flu Outbreak?

Sep 23, 2015

With fall fast approaching, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the poultry industry and food processors all are gearing up for another possible outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, more commonly known as bird flu. An outbreak of bird flu this past spring caused the removal of 7.5 million turkeys and 42.1 million egg-laying and pullet chickens in the United States, resulting in a drastic shortage of processed eggs for food processors, including dairy companies.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service last week released its “Fall 2015 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Preparedness and Response Plan.” The plan details how USDA would respond should an outbreak occur this fall. It details improved detection methods for identifying bird flu and makes recommendations for stronger biosecurity practices to stem the spread of the virus.  

The response plan builds upon the “Foreign Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plans and Continuity of Business/Secure Food Supply Plans,” which were in place and used during the spring outbreak. 

IDFA will keep members updated if a future outbreak occurs and affects the U.S. egg supply.

Members with questions may contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at

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