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minnesota board of animal health animal bytes

June, 2016

Changes coming to Influenza Surveillance Program

Pigs in a barn

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is implementing four changes to the Influenza A Virus (IAV-S) Surveillance Program as part of a plan to extend the program within current funding. The four efficiency measures will go into effect June 27, 2016.

The IAV-S Surveillance Program was initiated in 2009 to support both animal and public health objectives. Program goals include monitoring the evolution of the virus and providing isolates for research, development of diagnostic reagents, and updating diagnostic tests and vaccine seed stock products.

The four new measures to extend the program include:

  1. Lower the CT cutoff values for USDA funded further testing.
  2. Discontinue USDA reimbursement for NAHLN lab sequencing of the M gene.
  3. Reduce the number of samples per accession from two to one that will move forward for subtyping PCR's.
  4. Discontinue USDA reimbursement for the Matrix PCR screening test.

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Poultry Disease Planning Tool

Website image capture of poultry planning tool

The University of Minnesota is in the final testing phase of a new poultry disease planning tool. The website allows poultry producers to create an online profile of their operation before a disease outbreak strikes. This way, if avian influenza or another disease were to emerge, responders have a headstart with pre-supplied information.

Poultry producers are encouraged to register their premises and check out the website.

New USDA phone numbers

Please note the new phone numbers for the St. Paul USDA office, effective immediately.

Main Office Line: 651-234-5680

Main Fax Line: 651-234-5681

Main Export Line: 651-234-5690

Individual staff lines at the new office:

651-234-5683 - Lisa Liddell

651-234-5684 - ADD

651-234-5685 - Melissa Vasquez

651-234-5686 - Anthony Graff

651-234-5687 - Barb Geibe

651-234-5688 - Mary Donahue

651-234-5691 - Joe Frank

Top media mentions last month

Bar Graph of top media stories about the Board this month

The top news coverage for the Board in the last month focused on the June 2 announcement of Dr. Beth Thompson as the new executive director. Other popular stories included the appointment of new board member, Dr. Graham Brayshaw and the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab's announcement of funding to expand services. Rounding out the top five were some smaller features on the commercial breeder program.

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