Avian Flu Detected in Southwest Indiana

HUNTINGBURG, Ind. – As a result of ongoing screening and surveillance testing for avian influenza and other poultry diseases in turkey flocks, according to National Poultry Improvement Plan protocols, a form of High Pathogenic Avian Influenza H7N8 (HPAI) has been detected in turkeys located in Dubois County. This is the first finding of HPAI in commercial turkeys in the state of Indiana.

Farbest Farms, Inc. and the turkey industry are working closely with state and federal officials to keep the public informed and to be sure the best possible steps are being taken to protect the public and animal health. Federal and state officials will be working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in the nearby area, following the existing avian influenza response plan for Indiana.

Samples from the affected flock were tested initially be Farbest Farms, Inc., then confirmatory testing was done by the Avian Diagnostic Lab at Purdue University. Those findings have been confirmed by the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. APHIS and the Indiana State Board of Animal Health have initiated the incident command response, and APHIS will assist in depopulating the remaining birds on the farm to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the affected flock have not and will not enter the food system.

Farbest Farms can assure the public there has been no impact on the safety of our food products. The Center for Disease Control considers the risk to people from the HPAI H7N8 infection to be low. The quick detection by our surveillance protocol has worked as intended and will help protect our flocks and keep our food safe.

For more information about the ongoing avian influenza disease incident in the United States, visit the APHIS website at www.aphis.usda.gov and/or contact Denise Derrer at the Indiana Board of Animal Health at 317-544-2414.