Murland Township, Mitch. (JAGACH) – The government has discovered avian flu on a commercial turkey farm in eastern Muscagon County and forced the farm to kill livestock to prevent the spread of the virus.
The state did not disclose the name of the farm, but an employee of Sietsema Farms confirmed to News 8 that one of its facilities was involved.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says this is the first confirmed case of bird flu at a commercial poultry farm in Michigan.
To protect other herds, the government withdrew from the quarantined area. MDARD and Jennifer Holton told News 8 that 35,000 turkeys in the facility were “euthanized” to prevent spread.
MDARD first identified a bird flu strain in the backyard in February.
“We had some cases of backyard owners in Michigan earlier this year where their herds were found to be infected with avian influenza (highly pathogenic) and were usually associated with wild birds. it usually leads to this disease, “said Ernie Birchmeier of the Michigan Farm Bureau.
MDARD noted that public health risks remain low and that birds or poultry products containing avian influenza are not included in the commercial food chain.
Birchmeyer added that the loss of 35,000 birds will have no effect on the state’s turkey supply.
“We produce about 5.3 million turkeys a year in Michigan. We also have an egg production and a broiler industry in Michigan, so that should have a minimal impact, ”said Birchmeier.
Avian influenza can cause flu-like symptoms in birds, such as lack of energy, appetite, and coordination. It can also cause swelling, coughing and decreased egg production. It is highly contagious among infected birds and can be transmitted by touching the clothing and footwear of birds, equipment and guards. Birchmeier said that is why owners of other birds in the area need to be careful.
“Our poultry farms in Michigan are doing an excellent job of implementing biosafety measures to prevent disease because it’s so devastating,” Birchmeier said. “Obviously, this will raise awareness among our farmers in the Western Michigan community. Western Michigan is the largest producer of poultry in Michigan.
News 8 asked for an interview with Seattle, but did not receive a call until the case was closed on Wednesday.
According to Birchmeier, if you notice an influx of dead birds or birds in your area, it could be a sign of an outbreak of bird flu. According to him, you should immediately contact MDARD at 800.292.3939 or 517.373.0440.
Learn more about how Herd protection through biosafety measures can be found on the USDA website.
– News 8’s Michael Oszust and Rachel Van Gilder contributed to this report.