Bird Flu Testing Continues But Worst Appears To Be Over; Economic Impact Should Be Minimal

Local, state and federal officials taking part in today's news conference at VUJC

Local, state and federal officials taking part in today’s news conference at VUJC

JASPER (NNDC) – At a VUJC news conference this afternoon, local, state and federal officials say thanks to the quick response after the first report of Avian Flu was reported at turkey production farm near Dubois, it appears the worst may be over as far as the virus spreading.

If further testing doesn’t uncover any more farms with the flu, the total number of turkeys in Dubois County will be an estimated 241,000. That’s 16% of the county’s total commercial turkey population which is an estimated 1.5 million according to the latest figures from the Dubois County Purdue Extension Office.

All 241,000 are being euthanized as per state protocol. And the affected farms, a total of 10, could be back in operation in the next couple of months.

Local farmers are compensated for all the turkeys being euthanized. Most farmers also have insurance; others have damage compensation agreements with turkey processing companies who actually owns the flocks.

Testing in an area of 10 kilometers around the affected farms will continue for the next three weeks.

State animal health officials says once the affected farms are cleared of the flu virus, they can go back into production. Brent Marsh, DVM, the state’s veterinarian says it takes a turkey chick about 190 days to grow to full size ready for market.

“So we think the economic impact on this situation will be very minimal,” said Marsh at today’s news conference.

NewsNow Dubois will have a full report coming up shortly.

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