The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) announced on Tuesday that it has confirmed a case of the highly contagious bird flu in a commercial flock of 570,000 broiler chickens and that the birds will be “humanely depopulated and disposed of.”
NDA, in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), said in a press release the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in a chicken flock in Butler County, Neb.
“HPAI is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure,” NDA said. “The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers.”
The virus was initially discovered on March 7 in a wild goose in Lincoln, Neb., but was later discovered in a backyard flock of chickens in Merrick County and several wild geese in Cedar and Douglas counties, according to a press release.
Having a second farm in Nebraska confirmed to have HPAI is unfortunate, but not completely unexpected, NDA Director Steve Wellman said in the press release. NDA will use all the resources at our disposal, in coordination with our federal partners to manage a quick response.
The department said the farm is “under NDA quarantine and the birds will be humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved manner.”
Several other states have also reported cases of the virus in various bird species, with South Dakota reporting 85,000 cases on Sunday. Wisconsin and Missouri have also reported cases.