Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
With the last commercial site quarantine in Iowa set to end this week, poultry producers and state officials are changing gears in the response to avian influenza.
“We’ve got high path in the rear view mirror and we’re actually starting the process of examining and assessing what went well with the response, what we need to improve and what changes we need to make going forward,” State Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig said.
Naig said the industry had already shown drastic improvements since the state’s last outbreak in 2015.
“Last time … we had 77 sites that were impacted, this year we had 15 commercial sites, so there was significantly less spread,” he said. “I think it’s really a testament to the preparedness on the part of the producers and on the government response as well that made this one different.”
Much of that preparedness stemmed from newly established lines of communication.
“We had response plans that had been developed, communicated, expectations were set on, ‘here’s what producers are responsible for, here’s what the department of ag in Iowa would do, what the USDA would do,’” Naig said. “I think knowing those things and knowing what to expect and being prepared, and just generally doing a better job of biosecurity on the farm was the other major lesson learned from ‘15.”