Avian flu detected at Wisconsin farm, 2nd case in U.S.

A strain of avian influenza has been detected at a Jennie-O turkey farm in Barron, Wisconsin. It is the second case of bird flu reported at a U.S. commercial poultry operation in the last week.

Hormel Foods Corp., which owns Jennie-O, confirmed the H5N2 strain was detected at the operation on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier this week, 73,000 chickens at a Tyson Foods supplier in Tennessee were killed due to an outbreak of avian influenza. The H7 strain found in Tennessee is not related to the H5N2 strain found in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin case is a low-pathogenic bird flu strain. Officials in Barron County say low-pathogenic strains are not uncommon in poultry flocks and do not cause many clinical signs of the illness in the birds.

In light of the recent outbreaks, Barron County Emergency Services is urging all poultry owners to increase their biosecurity efforts on their farms, regardless of size.

For farmers, biosecurity is a preventative approach used to minimize the introduction or spread of disease-causing organisms like viruses or bacteria. Farmers should have a biosecurity plan or program tailored to their farm and livestock species.

Officials recommend farmers take the following actions:

Restrict access to your property and keep your birds away from other birds.

Wash your hands thoroughly before and after working with your birds. Clean and disinfect equipment.

Buy birds from reputable sources and keep new birds separated for at least 30 days.

Do not share equipment or supplies with neighbors or other bird owners. If you must borrow, disinfect it first.

Know the warning signs. Early detection can help prevent the spread of the disease. Check your birds frequently. If you find a sick or dead bird, don’t touch it.

Report sick birds, don’t wait. If your birds are sick or dying at an abnormal rate, call DATCP at 1-800-572-8981.