FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) – The resurgence of the bird flu has infected birds in at least 25 states and it could impact farmers, hunters and even your dinner options.
North Dakota just confirmed the first bird flu case within a backyard chicken flock in Kidder County but that doesn’t necessarily mean the virus just arrived.
“I’ve been getting reports for the last 10 days that have been seeing snow geese that have been either dead or exhibiting some kind of characteristics of a possible sickness so you have the test results and then you have what hunters are seeing out there on the landscape,” said Doug Leier, biologist at North Dakota Game and Fish department.
“With the migratory birds that carry this virus continuing to make it’s way across our state, we want to make sure that all of our poultry stays healthy,” said Beth Thompson, Minnesota state veterinarian and executive director at Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
Minnesota found five cases of bird flu just this last week, which means poultry producers have had to kill almost 350,000 of their birds to keep the virus from spreading.
Thompson says the federal government has financial protections in place for producers, but they’re not all the virus affects.
“In 2015, I think there was an impact to the grocery store to consumers both here in Minnesota and across the United States, I think that remains to be seen,” said Thompson.
But that hasn’t happened this time yet. There aren’t any known human cases yet either.
“From hunters and domestic poultry producers, it’s taking those proper precautions and remaining vigilant, it’s happened in the past and we’ll see what happens, we don’t know what the future holds,” said Leier.
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