Avian flu outbreaks strike poultry farms in 2 more states
By Lisa Schnirring
Minnesota and Montana reported highly pathogenic avian flu outbreaks on commercial poultry farms, part of a small rise in activity that began early this month. The uptick follows a lull during warmer-weather months, though detections have continued in wild birds, with occasional spillovers to mammals such as harbor seals in Washington.
In Minnesota, the outbreak occurred at a turkey farm in Meeker County in the central part of the state that houses 140,000 birds, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The event marks the first appearance of the virus in Minnesota poultry flocks since mid-May.
Elsewhere, Montana’s outbreak was reported at a poultry farm in Glacier County in the northwest corner of the state at a facility that has 50,300 birds, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Montana last reported the virus in a poultry flock in April.
The outbreaks in poultry involve a Eurasian H5N1 clade circulating globally, and since US outbreaks began in early 2022, the virus has led to the loss of a record 59.1 million birds across 47 states, according to APHIS.