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For Immediate Release
Friday, May 1, 2015

Dustin Vande Hoef
515/281-3375 or 515/326-1616 (cell)
or Dustin.VandeHoef@IowaAgriculture.gov

 
 

 

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Governor Terry E. Branstad « Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Friday, May 1, 2015
Contact: Governor’s Office, 515-281-5211
Branstad, Northey provide update on avian influenza in Iowa; Branstad declares state of emergency in Iowa

(DES MOINES) – Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad today was joined by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Mark Schouten to provide an update on the ongoing efforts to stop the avian influenza outbreak in Iowa. In addition, Gov. Branstad announced that he is declaring a state of emergency in Iowa. The disaster proclamation can be viewed here.

“While the avian influenza outbreak does not pose a risk to humans, we are taking the matter very seriously and believe declaring a state of emergency is the best way to make all resources available,” said Branstad. “Even before the virus began in Iowa, our office was monitoring the outbreak in other states. We’ll continue our work – as we’ve been doing since the first outbreak in Buena Vista County – in hopes of stopping the virus’ aggressive spread throughout Iowa.”

At time of press, 21 sites spanning 10 Iowa counties have cases that are either presumed positives or confirmed positives. The counties include: Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Kossuth, Madison, O’Brien, Osceola, Pocahontas, Sac and Sioux.

“Iowa’s poultry farms are an important part of our state’s agriculture industry.  This disease is having a far reaching impact and, unfortunately, it has continued to spread.  We have seen tremendous support and coordination from state, federal and local partners and this emergency declaration will allow the state to continue to respond aggressively to this disease outbreak,” Northey said.

In addition, Gov. Branstad today declared a state of emergency due to the outbreak. The proclamation is effective immediately and will continue until May 31, 2015, at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended by the governor.

The proclamation of disaster emergency can be read below and does the following:

  • Activates the disaster response and recovery aspect of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department’s (HSEMD) Iowa Emergency Response Plan.
  • Authorizes the use and deployment of all available state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials as are deemed reasonably necessary by the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and Iowa HSEMD in order to do the following:
  • Track and monitor instances of confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza  throughout the state of Iowa and the country,
  • Establish importation restrictions and prohibitions in respect to animals suspected of suffering from this disease,
  • Rapidly detect any presumptive or confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza within Iowa’s borders, 
  • Contain the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within our state through depopulation, disinfections, and disposal of livestock carcasses,
  • Engage in detection activities, contact tracking, and other investigatory work to stop the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within our state, and
  • Eliminate the disease in those disaster counties where it has been found and lessen the risk of this disease spreading to our state as a whole.
  • Temporarily authorizes the Iowa HSEMD, the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS), the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), other state agencies, and local law enforcement agencies and private contractors employed by the same to remove and/or dispose of live animals and animal carcasses on publicly or privately owned land when those live animals and/or carcasses threaten public health or safety.
  • Authorizes the Iowa HSEMD, the Iowa DOT, the Iowa DPS, the Iowa DNR, IDPH, other state agencies, and local law enforcement agencies to implement stop movement and stop loading restrictions and other control zone measures as are reasonably deemed necessary, including establishing buffer zones, checkpoints, and cleaning and disinfecting operations at checkpoints and borders surrounding any quarantine areas established by the IDALS or at any other location in the state of Iowa, in order to stop the spread of this contagious disease.
  • Authorizes state agencies to assist the IDALS in disinfection, depopulation, and livestock carcass disposal efforts.
  • Temporarily waives restrictions to allow for the timely and efficient disposal of poultry carcasses.
  • Temporarily suspends the regulatory provisions pertaining to hours of service for commercial vehicle drivers hauling poultry carcasses infected with or exposed to highly pathogenic avian influenza or while hauling loads otherwise related to the response to this disaster during its duration, subject to certain conditions outlined in the disaster proclamation.
  •  
  • For more information, please review background, agency activity and the full disaster proclamation below.
  • ###

UPDATE ON ACTIVIES OF STATE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN RESPONSE TO AVIAN INFLUENZA

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)

  • Quarantined all infected sites
  • Subject to facilities implementing nationally approved biosecurity measures, the Dept. permits the movement of materials such as feed and other supplies on and off of infected sites
  • Leading efforts to monitor all poultry within a 10 kilometer circle of each infected site
  • Coordinating state communication efforts on the disease
  • Working with federal and state officials to ensure the humane depopulation and disposal of all birds from infected sites

Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department (HSEMD)

  • Conducted coordination meetings with IDALS, the governor’s office and other partner agencies to bring all up to date, and to brainstorm planning and coordination needs. Other agencies at the meeting included Iowa Dept. of Public Health, Iowa Dept. of Transportation, Iowa Dept. of Corrections, Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources, Iowa Dept. of Public Safety, Iowa National Guard, Iowa Dept. of Human Services, Iowa Dept. of Inspections and Appeals.
  • Provide resource support coordination as requested.
  • Regularly providing information for situational awareness with county emergency management coordinators.
  • Providing support for IDALS communications activities.

Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) – in conjunction with local public health officials

  • Shared CDC recommendations on the use of personal protective equipment by persons working directly with sick chickens and carcasses.
  • Followed up with workers who had direct contact with sick birds without the use of personal protective equipment.
  • Provided sound risk information, making sure the public understands that the virus presents no food safety concern or risk to the general public.
  • Participated in media conference calls with Sec. Northey and USDA.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

  • The DNR’s primary concern is that disposal methods protect surface water, groundwater and air quality and does not result in further spreading of the AI virus
  • Investigating the feasibility and the potential benefits and problems associated with various disposal options including landfilling, composting, incinerating, rendering and burying.
  • Looking at potential criteria for emergency air permits if needed for an incineration process.
  • Made contacts with several landfills to determine the ability of those operations to take dead poultry as well as being able to wash and disinfect transport vehicles on site.
  • Investigating and been in contact with wastewater treatment facilities on the ability to accept and adequately treat leachate  produced by any landfill for the AI virus that may take dead poultry.
  • Developed solid waste acceptance criteria for landfills willing to accept AI infected poultry.
  • Contacted numerous potential sources of wood chips that can be used if composting becomes an option. The wood chips would be used as part of the composting process.
  • Prepared maps of infected facilities that show quarantine boundaries and to determine the proximity of other poultry operations and neighbors.
  • Investigating the geology involved with operations to determine the optimum potential locations for burial if needed.
  • Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct sampling of waterfowl for AI.

Background Information

The United States has the strongest Avian Influenza (AI) surveillance program in the world.  As part of the existing USDA avian influenza response plans, Federal and State partners as well as industry are responding quickly and decisively to these outbreaks by following these five basic steps: 1) Quarantine – restricting movement of poultry and poultry-moving equipment into and out of the control area; 2) Eradicate – humanely euthanizing the affected flock(s); 3) Monitor region – testing wild and domestic birds in a broad area around the quarantine area; 4)  Disinfect – kills the virus in the affected flock locations; and 5) Test – confirm that poultry farms in the area are free of the virus.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health are working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure proper precautions are being taken.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick. People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard flock owners, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through their state veterinarian at 515-281-5321 or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.

Information will also be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.

 

Disaster Proclamation

WHEREAS, beginning on April 13, 2015 and continuing thereafter, there have been a significant number of confirmed diagnosis of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the State of Iowa; and
WHEREAS, highly pathogenic avian influenza is a contagious and economically devastating disease that threatens turkeys, chickens, and other poultry; and 
WHEREAS, the entire state of Iowa is at risk of this serious animal disease spreading; and
WHEREAS, the spread of this highly contagious disease threatens the public peace, health, and safety of the citizens of the State of Iowa and has the potential to quickly destroy private property and exhaust local resources and capacities unless its spread is stopped.  These facts provide legal justification for the issuance of this Proclamation of a State of Disaster Emergency. Iowa Code §§ 29C.1, 29C.2 (1), 29C.6 (1).
NOW, THEREFORE, I, TERRY E. BRANSTAD, Governor of the State of Iowa, by the power and authority vested in me by the Iowa Constitution Art. IV, §§ 1, 8 and Iowa Code §§ 29C.6 (1), 163.3A (2) and all other applicable laws, and in conjunction with the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, under the authority granted to him under Iowa Code       § 163.3A, do hereby proclaim a State of Disaster Emergency for the entire state of Iowa and do hereby ORDER and DIRECT the following:

  1. As required by Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1), (10) and 42 U.S.C. § 5170 in cases of presidential disaster declarations, this Proclamation of Disaster Emergency activates the disaster response and recovery aspect of the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department’s Iowa Emergency Response Plan, any annex to that plan dealing with foreign animal disease, and those local response plans applicable to the counties affected by this disaster. 
  2. This proclamation further authorizes the use and deployment of all available state resources, supplies, equipment, and materials as are deemed reasonably necessary by the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, working in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture and the Governor’s Office and pursuant to Iowa’s Emergency Response Plan, in order to do the following:
  3. Track and monitor instances of confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza  throughout the state of Iowa and the country,
  4. Establish importation restrictions and prohibitions in respect to animals suspected of suffering from this disease,
  5. Rapidly detect any presumptive or confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza within Iowa’s borders, 
  6. Contain the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within our state through depopulation, disinfections, and disposal of livestock carcasses,
  7. Engage in such surveillance and detection activities, contact tracking, and other investigatory work to stop the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within our state, and
  8. Eliminate the disease in those disaster counties where it has been found and lessen the risk of this disease spreading to our state as a whole.
  9. Iowa Code §§ 29C.6 (10), 163.1.
  10. I temporarily authorize the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Public Health, other state agencies, and local law enforcement agencies and private contractors employed by the same to remove and/or dispose of live animals and animal carcasses on publicly or privately owned land when those live animals and/or carcasses threaten public health or safety or otherwise threaten public or private property.  Iowa Code § 29C.6 (10). 
  11. The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Public Health, other state agencies, and local law enforcement agencies are hereby authorized to implement such stop movement and stop loading restrictions, surveillance and sampling activities, and other control zone measures as are reasonably deemed necessary, including establishing buffer zones, checkpoints, and cleaning and disinfecting operations at checkpoints and borders surrounding any quarantine areas established by the Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship or at any other location in the state of Iowa, in order to stop the spread of this contagious disease.  Iowa Code §§ 29C.6 (8), (13), (14) and 163.1 (4).
  12. The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department working in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Public Health, other state agencies, and local law enforcement agencies are authorized to assist the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the United States Department of Agriculture in disinfection, depopulation, and livestock carcass disposal efforts.  Iowa Code § 29C.6 (10).
  13. I temporarily waive those restrictions set out in 567 Iowa Admin. Code 100.4(2)(b)  as to allow for the timely and efficient disposal of poultry carcasses, subject to the restrictions set out in 567 Iowa Admin. Code 100.4(2)(c).  Iowa Code § 29C.6 (10).
  14. I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code § 321.449 pertaining to hours of service for commercial vehicle drivers hauling poultry carcasses infected with or exposed to highly pathogenic avian influenza or while hauling loads otherwise related to the response to this disaster during its duration and on routes approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation, subject to these conditions:
  15. Nothing contained in this Proclamation shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements under 49 CFR Part 382, the commercial drivers’ license requirements under 49 CFR Part 383, the financial responsibility requirements of 49 CFR Part 387, or any other portion of the Code of Federal Regulations not specifically identified in this proclamation.
  16. No motor carrier operating under the terms of this proclamation shall require or allow a fatigued or ill driver to operate a motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours off duty before the driver is required to return to service.
  17. Upon the request of a driver, a commercial motor carrier operating under this proclamation must give a driver at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off when the driver has been on duty for more than seventy (70) hours during any eight consecutive days.
  18. Motor carriers that have an out-of-service order in effect may not take advantage of the relief from regulations that this declaration provides under title 49 CFR § 390.23.
  19. Upon the expiration of the effective date of this Proclamation, or when a driver has been relieved of all duty and responsibility to provide direct assistance to the emergency effort, a driver that has had at least thirty-four (34) consecutive hours off duty shall be permitted to start his or her on-duty status hours and 60/70 hour clock at zero.
  20. Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6).
  21. I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code       §§ 321.463(5) (a), (5) (b) and 321E.29 and 761 Iowa Admin. Code Chapter 511, pertaining to hours of service for commercial vehicle drivers hauling poultry carcasses infected with or exposed to highly pathogenic avian influenza or while hauling loads otherwise related to the response to this disaster during its duration and on routes approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation, when such loads:
  22. Do not exceed a maximum of 90,000 pounds gross weight,
  23. Do not exceed by more than twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) the maximum axle weight limit determined under the non-primary highway maximum gross weight table in Iowa Code § 321.463(5) (b),
  24. Do not exceed the legal maximum axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, and
  25. Comply with posted weight limits on roads and bridges.
  26. Iowa Code § 29C.6 (6).
  27. I temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 8A, 11 Iowa Admin. Code Chapters 117 and 118, and 641 Iowa Admin. Code Chapter 176, requiring the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and other state agencies to procure goods and services through a competitive selection process. Suspension of these provisions is limited to the duration of this proclamation and is further limited to procurements which are necessary to prevent or contain the spread of the disease that is the subject of this proclamation of disaster emergency.  Iowa Code § 29C.6(6).
  28. This state of disaster emergency shall be effective immediately today, May 1, 2015, shall continue for thirty (30) days, and shall expire on May 31, 2015 at 11:59 p.m., unless sooner terminated or extended in writing by me. Iowa Code § 29C.6 (1). 

 

 

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the Great Seal of the State of Iowa to be affixed at Des Moines, Iowa this 1st day of May in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Fifteen.

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________

 

TERRY E. BRANSTAD
GOVERNOR

 

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Mailing Address: IDALS,  Wallace State Office Building,   502 E. 9th Street,  Des Moines, IA 50319:     PH: 515-281-5321
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