HPAI in the U.S. and free biosecurity lesson plans for ag teachers

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

February 2022

Everyone should be on the lookout for avian influenza

Multiple cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have been identified recently in several states. A Eurasian H5N1 strain of HPAI was found in many wild birds along the Atlantic flyway and now it is in commercial poultry in the Mississippi flyway.

In light of the developing HPAI situation in the U.S., the Minnesota Board of Animal Health and University of Minnesota Extension have developed an informational flyer on HPAI.

The need for poultry producers to practice good biosecurity, increase surveillance and report sick birds is crucial during the spring wild bird migratory season.

If you have flocks exhibiting any clinical signs of influenza or you believe they might have been exposed to birds with the disease, immediately call your veterinarian.

If you are a veterinarian and receive reports of clinical signs of avian influenza, call the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory at 320-231-5170.

Call the Minnesota Duty Officer if it is after hours or on the weekend at 1-800-422-0798.

HPAI for backyard poultry

Avian Influenza Biosecurity and Surveillance Flyer

Keep reading...

What are the signs of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza?

Initial reports on the current strain of H5N1 point to a significant decrease in water consumption before an increase in mortality in positive flocks. If this occurs in your flock it should be investigated immediately.

Additionally, anyone tending to a flock should be on the lookout for any unexplained increase in mortality, decreased egg production, respiratory issues, quiet or depressed birds or neurologic (twisted necks) signs.

Make sure the people who work with your birds daily (either you or your workers) know what to look for. If you find one or two dead birds in your flock for a couple days in a row, and cannot explain their death, contact your veterinarian, even if all other birds look fine.

Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory accepting EIA submissions through Global Vet Link

The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is now accepting equine infectious anemia (EIA) submissions through Global Vet Link (GVL). The submissions can be created digitally through GVL enabling faster access to results without waiting to receive the copies of results through mail.

Complete electronic EIA submissions through Global Vet Link.

If you don't have access to GVL, you can signup for an account online.

Attention Ag Teachers!

Looking for a lesson plan for your classroom? You know Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom has excellent resources available for your students. Have you and your class brushed up on biosecurity lately? Now is a great time to introduce biosecurity or have a refresher with students before they head off to compete in their county fair this summer.

Here are specific lesson plans for several grade levels:

Not a teacher and still want to share the same biosecurity lessons with curious kids? There are free "Bring Home the Blue, Not the Flu! Preventing Disease in Animals and People" online courses available for a variety of ages.

USDA internship opportunity for DVM students

Are you a student who is currently applying to or enrolled in a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program? If so, an internship with the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service may be right for you!

The USDA is accepting applications for the Saul T. Wilson Jr. Internship program. Through this program, you will gain valuable, real-world experience in promoting and protecting the nation’s agricultural animal health. For example, on any given day, you might work in a pasture collecting statistical information, spend time in a laboratory analyzing data, or conduct routine tests alongside seasoned veterinarians.

Selected Saul T. Wilson, Jr. interns receive tuition assistance from USDA―up to $7,500 per year for undergraduate studies and $15,000 per year for graduate studies. After you successfully complete the program and have your DVM degree, you may be eligible for a permanent position as a Veterinary Medical Officer.

Quarterly Board Meeting Recording Posted

The February 2 quarterly Board meeting recording is posted on the Board Members webpage.