Friends board member Jaime Jerrels is a fifth generation Florida Cracker and farmer. She is also the Assistant Director of Agricultural Policy for the Florida Farm Bureau. In that role, she sends all of us the uncomfortable news that on January 16, 2016, the first case in nearly seven months of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. The January 2016 case of HPAI is a different strain than the 2015 strain that affected over 49 million wild and domestic birds costing federal tax payers over $950 million. No new cases have been confirmed since January 16th.
Due to the 2015 outbreak, the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) have made revisions to their protocols on how they respond to and prevent the spread of the avian influenza (AI). In Florida, FDACS has revised their Animal Import Rule for poultry to include required pre-import AI testing for non-commercial shipments. The test must be done within 21 days of entry into Florida for those poultry originating from a non-HPAI affected state and within 7 days for poultry originating from outside a control zone in a HPAI affected state. The official enforcement date of the new import requirement is March 1, 2016. For more information, please follow the link below.
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