Amid bird flu outbreak, turkey producers tighten security

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Poultry producers in the nation's top turkey state are taking extra steps to protect their flocks after a devastating strain of bird flu was confirmed at another Minnesota farm.

Most producers were already strict about biosecurity but they're redoubling their efforts. An infection confirmed Saturday at a turkey farm in Stearns County, the third outbreak in Minnesota this month, raised the stakes because it's one of the top poultry producing counties in the state.

Steve Olson of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association says poultry farmers are on "pins and needles."

Olson says they're now scrubbing down truck tires with disinfectant, and some operators are using dedicated employees and equipment for each barn. If a barn needs service such as electrical work, he says, owners may wait until things settle down.