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Thursday, June 4, 2015

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



CDC considers the risk to people to be low

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said there are no new probable cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) today.  Depopulation and disposal of birds from previously announced sites is ongoing.

USDA has taken the lead in working with the owners of affected sites to ensure the safe and humane euthanasia of birds.  USDA has more than 1700 staff and contractors helping respond to the avian influenza situation in Iowa.

Depopulation should be complete today on all previously announced turkey sites.  All of those birds will be composted on site.

As of June 3, 24.1 million of the 27.7 million commercial layers and pullets have been euthanized.  Disposal is ongoing using composting, on-site burial, incineration and landfills.  A large incinerator at Cherokee landfill is currently operational and processing approximately seven loads a day in the start-up phase.  Adjustments are being made to increase capacity.  Bio-secure waste containers from affected sites are also being moved to landfills in Mills and Sioux counties.  Additional trucks are being added to the operation.

All materials are transported along Iowa Department of Transportation-approved routes.  All trucks are cleaned and disinfected when the leave an affected site and again before leaving the landfill.  A photo of the cleaning and disinfection process is attached.

Updated information about the number cases, when they are confirmed and other relevant information will be posted to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.  No human infections with the virus have ever been detected and there is no food safety risk for consumers.

USDA also has Public Service Announcements (PSAs) and FAQ discussing food safety:


Iowa agencies assist in response to Avian Influenza

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Public Health (in conjunction with local public health officials), Iowa Department of Human Services, Iowa Department of Transportation, and Iowa National Guard have all supported the response effort to this disease.  The State Emergency Operations Center remains partially activated to ensure coordination of all state resources. 


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.


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