Lawmakers Examine Bird Flu Response, Plans For Next Outbreak
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State and federal agriculture officials are honing response plans they hope will limit the spread of bird flu they expect to return this fall.
Two Minnesota House agriculture committees heard Tuesday about lessons learned and listened to chicken and turkey producers who coped with the avian influenza on their farms last spring. More than 9 million birds died or were destroyed, a huge blow in a major poultry producing state.
U.S. Department of Agriculture District Director Steve Halstead says the federal agency is rewriting its response plan to expedite handling of suspected cases and clarify which entities will play what roles.
Dr. Bill Hartmann of Minnesota's Board of Animal Health is expecting faster turnaround of suspected cases sent to veterinary diagnostic labs and quicker extermination of flocks on affected farms.