Low-pathogen AI discovered at Jennie-O Turkey Store farm

by Joel Crews
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The case was confirmed on March 4 by NVSL officials. 
WILLMAR, Minn. – Two days before the announcement that an outbreak of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (AI) was confirmed on a commercial chicken farm in Lincoln County, Tennessee, officials with Jennie-O Turkey Store, a subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corp., confirmed that on March 4 low pathogenic AI was confirmed at its Barron, Wisconsin, turkey farm.


“This situation in Wisconsin only involves one farm site where experienced flock management personnel identified health issues in the flock and promptly pursued testing,” the company said in a statement on its website. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the strain is H5N2 and the company iterated that “low path avian influenza is common in North America.”

Jennie-O stated this case is not affiliated with the highly pathogenic H7 strain discovered at the farm in Tennessee, which is a contract grower for Tyson Foods Inc.

A statement from Michelle Kromm, DVM, and director of technical services was also posted on the Jennie-O site.

“The team at Jennie-O has worked diligently to identify risks leading to avian influenza exposure and has subsequently updated protocols as well as implemented new programs to mitigate these risks,” it said.  “Although the type of influenza may vary, biosecurity interventions are not strain specific and will reduce risk regardless of the influenza type.

“Our team members working with turkey flocks follow strict biosecurity protocols, and our experienced production and veterinary staff closely monitor and manage the health and welfare of our flocks. We continue to partner with regulatory, university, and industry colleagues to identify opportunities for improvement.”

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