The summer of 2015 will be remembered by backyard and commercial flock owners as the year of the avian flu. But what did we learn from that devastation? The Ag Networks David Sparks has more.
SPARKS: Washington State ag officials took it to heart when thousands of birds had to be destroyed after this summers avian influenza outbreak. Nationally, the disease claimed over 48-million birds causing quarantines to be put into place. Minnesota was the last one to remove their quarantine just last week and officials have been scrambling to get better biosecurity in place so we don't see the same issues next year. In Washington State, Joe Bake, the state's lead veterinarian, said a big problem has been how to reach and educate thousands of backyard flock owners. The state has created a database of bird owners and speaks to them on a monthly basis through a question-answer phone call.
Thanks David. The federal government spent nearly $1 billion dollars on response this year. There had been a big concern that there might be a significant uptick in cases this fall but so far this winter very little high-path bird flu has been found in wild birds. Wild birds were the cause of infections here in the northwest while in the Midwest infections were spread farm to farm via feed and garbage.
And that's Washington Ag Today. I'm Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.