DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) — The Iowa Department of Agriculture has confirmed nine cases of avian flu through Tuesday, but the state accounts for more than 40% of affected birds.
That’s because Iowa’s infected flocks have been much larger than those of other states.
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said it is important for producers to have a plan in place should the bird flu reach their farm.
Naig added that the state is better prepared to handle an outbreak after learning from a previous outbreak in 2015. That includes working with the USDA to assist in a quicker and more efficient response.
The department also helps financially by providing funds for the loss of birds, disinfecting, and disposal of birds.
“There are resources that come from USDA, but it’s important to note that these payments do not make a producer whole this is a devastating event for a livestock producer,” Naig said. “It financially it’s difficult and of course the stress of managing through this situation. So, we’re appreciative of the support and the dollars help with the response, but it’s far from making a producer whole.”
Iowa was the hardest hit state during the bird flu outbreak in 2015. Iowan birds accounted for about two-thirds of the nearly 50 million birds destroyed due to the virus.