The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed an outbreak of avian influenza in 10 poultry flocks in southwestern Indiana, one of which housed egg-laying chickens, So far, eight of the 10 flocks are infected with a low pathogenic virus, meaning the particular strain is less able to produce disease than a highly pathogenic version of the virus.
Indiana ranks third in the nation for states engaged in egg production.
The current strain, H7N8, is different from the highly pathogenic virus outbreak that occurred in the spring of 2015. That virus affected 7.5 million turkeys and 42.1 million egg-laying and pullet chickens in the United States, resulting in a severe shortage of processed eggs for food companies, including dairy.
Recovery from the 2015 shortage has been slow, with the last farm affected by the virus just starting to produce eggs again last week. To address this winter’s outbreak, APHIS has begun to implement its rapid testing and response plan, which builds upon the plans and biosecurity practices the agency used last year.
IDFA will keep members updated if a highly pathogenic outbreak occurs and affects the U.S. egg supply.
Members with questions may contact Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at email@example.com.