Science and technology aid in prevention of high-path avian flu

Technology is helping poultry and turkey producers detect and prevent highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Iowa Turkey Federation executive director Gretta Irwin says the virus is transmitted by migratory waterfowl, and BirdCast is an app that shows migration patterns in real time.

“So we’re using science and technology to alert us that birds are starting to move. That conversation then goes amongst our membership to say we’re starting to see migration (and) it’s time to be even more diligent than you already are.”

She tells Brownfield the industry is working with USDA Wildlife Services to identify ways to deter wild birds.

“That may include lasers. We’re seeing some farmers put in lasers like we have at airports, that move around the property and just keep birds uninterested in coming close to the barns.”

Irwin says a lot of new ideas have come forward to help protect flocks since the high-path avian flu outbreak in 2015.

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