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Engineering challenges and responses to the highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreak in Minnesota in 2015

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2016 ASABE Annual International Meeting  162537392.(doi:10.13031/aim.20162537392)
Authors:   K A Janni, L D Jacobson, S L Noll, C J Cardona, H W Martin, A E Neu
Keywords:   Avian influenza, Biosecurity, Danish entry, Extension, Highly pathogenic avian influenza, Poultry, Turkeys

Abstract. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus (H5N2) was first detected on a Minnesota turkey farm in mid-March 2015. By the end of the outbreak HPAI had spread to over 105 farms in the state, resulting in the death of over 4.8 million turkeys and 4.2 million layer hens. Where HPAI (H5N2) came from and the mechanism by which HPAI virus was transmitted from farm to farm is not known. It is thought that a primary method of HPAI transmission from farm to farm was by employees or equipment contaminated with the virus. It is unclear whether airborne transmission played a role or not. This paper summarizes some of the engineering challenges and Extension responses to the 2015 HPAI outbreak in Minnesota. Efforts were dedicated to enhancing poultry operation biosecurity to reduce disease transmission at sites with numerous employees, materials flows and vehicle traffic. Engineering challenges associated with euthanizing large numbers of birds, moving and composting large numbers of dead birds also developed. Engineers can also help design of entries that incorporate Danish entry concepts to reduce chances of exposing birds to pathogenic disease organisms and to control disease spread between barns and farms.

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