Low pathogenic avian flu found in Minnesota turkey flock

Published 4:47 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

ST. PAUL — Animal health officials said Tuesday that a strain of avian flu confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in southern Minnesota does not pose a risk to the public and there are no food safety concerns for consumers.

The state Board of Animal Health said routine testing discovered low pathogenic avian influenza at a farm in Kandiyohi County. The board quarantined the flock and plans to test those birds and other flocks in the area for signs of the disease.

The virus is different from one that caused the highly pathogenic avian flu outbreak in the Midwest in 2015, health officials said.

“Testing birds before they go to market is standard protocol for our poultry flocks in Minnesota because it verifies healthy birds are sent to market, and if disease is detected, we can hold the flock and work quickly with producers to address the disease,” state veterinarian Dr. Beth Thompson said.

The board is working with federal, state and industry partners on further steps to deal with the virus.