WASHINGTON — On Sept. 27, animal health officials in Utah and North Dakota reported highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks, affecting nearly 200,000 birds combined.

The North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed the presence of HPAI in a commercial turkey and chicken flock in Ransom County, ND. Ransom County along with nearby counties were already under suspension of poultry events after HPAI detection in late August in Cass County. The suspension has been extended due to recent findings.

The North Dakota outbreak affected 69,100 birds, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

“As the fall migration begins, bird owners should take precautions to prevent interaction between wild birds and poultry,” said Ethan Andress, DVM and state veterinarian.

“Everyone should avoid contact with sick or deceased wild birds and farmers should designate certain shoes and clothes to wear when caring for their own poultry,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring added.

Utah reported its ninth outbreak, this time appearing in Sanpete County. According to APHIS, 127,200 birds were culled.

Total birds affected from this wave of HPAI has surpassed 45 million, an increase from 40.1 million recorded on Aug. 1. 

With HPAI continuing to make its way throughout the United States and North America, the pet food supply chain is becoming ever-more threatened. 

Read more about supply chain topics affecting the industry on our Operations page.