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More backyard producers infected with avian flu as Minnesota reaches 70 sites, approaches 2.9M birds

There are 70 sites of confirmed avian flu infection in Minnesota as of Tuesday, May 10. The inventory of flocks diagnosed with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza is approaching 2.9 million, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

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The inventory of flocks in Minnesota diagnosed with H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza is approaching 2.9 million, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. Seventy infection sites have been confirmed as of the Tuesday, May 10, report, including several sites designated as backyard producers of unspecified poultry.
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WILLMAR, Minn. — Minnesota is approaching 2.9 million birds impacted by avian flu, with four additional sites of confirmed infection identified since last week.

Three of the four new sites announced by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health since last week were small backyard poultry producers and the fourth was a Lyon County flock of 118,900 commercial meat turkeys, the first site in that county with a confirmed diagnosis, on May 3.

The backyard producers reported since last week were in Chisago County, 30 birds, confirmed May 3; Carver County, also 30 birds, confirmed May 4; and 10 birds in Anoka County, confirmed May 6.

There are now 70 total sites confirmed in the state, and the Board of Animal Health's tally of confirmed diagnoses of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza as of Tuesday afternoon stands at 2,894,652.

The first Minnesota cases of the disease — which is fatal to domestic poultry — were confirmed March 25. Flocks that are infected are destroyed.

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The Board of Animal Health's web page devoted to avian flu response in the state — which can be found at bah.state.mn.us/hpai — is updated by noon each weekday with the information that is known about poultry infection sites. Data from previous days also may be updated by quality control staff if more accurate information is gathered later.

Recently, several more backyard producers have been confirmed, and that production category now stands at 13 sites, according to that web page. Commercial meat turkey operations remain the vast majority of the 70 sites statewide. There have now been four sites of commercial turkey breeder hens, and two chicken flocks in Morrison County, one broiler and one egg layer operation.

Susan Lunneborg is the news editor of the West Central Tribune in Willmar, Minnesota. A journalist for more than 25 years, she has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in the Dakotas and Minnesota.
Lunneborg can be reached at: slunneborg@wctib.com or 320-214-4343.
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