News Release

For immediate release: October 11, 2023

Contact: Michael Crusan

HPAI confirmed in Meeker County turkey flock

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was confirmed today in a commercial turkey flock of 140,000 birds in Meeker County. Samples were confirmed positive by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa. The site is quarantined, and the birds on the premises were depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease.

Poultry is safe to eat, and proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is always advised.

“Unfortunately, HPAI seems to keep popping up during the seasonal migrations in Minnesota,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Brian Hoefs. “Before today’s detection our most recent cases were in the spring of this year. Anyone who has poultry should take this detection as a clear sign to keep a close eye on their flock and initiate your strongest biosecurity practices.”

Poultry producers and backyard flock owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if they see any signs or symptoms in their flock:

  • Decrease in feed or water intake.
  • Swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, wattle, and hocks.
  • Decrease in egg production.
  • Sudden, unexplained death.
  • Extreme depression.
  • Very quiet.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Biosecurity is paramount to stopping the spread of this and other viruses and disease. Flock owners large and small should review their biosecurity measures to maintain the health of their birds. The University of Minnesota Extension maintains biosecurity resources for commercial and backyard flocks.

If you are a veterinarian and receive reports of clinical signs of avian influenza, call the Minnesota Avian Influenza Hotline at 833-454-0156 or submit a sick bird report online. If it is after hours or on the weekend, call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798. Subsequent HPAI cases will be posted on the Board’s website.