Minnesota 03/05/15 US Dept of Agriculture: PRESS RELEASE – The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza in a commercial turkey flock in Pope County, Minnesota. This is the first finding in the Mississippi flyway. It is the same strain of avian influenza that has been confirmed in backyard and wild birds in Washington, Oregon and Idaho as part of the ongoing incident in the Pacific flyway. Samples from the turkey breeder replacement flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the finding. APHIS is partnering closely with the Minnesota Board of Animal Health on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and the remaining birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the involved flock will not enter the food system. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks, and commercial poultry, to be low. No human infections with these viruses have been detected at this time. The Minnesota Department of Health is working directly with poultry workers at the affected facility to ensure they are taking the proper precautions. – For complete release see http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/sa_hpai_minnesota.pdf
Missouri 03/09/15 MO Dept of Agriculture: PRESS RELEASE – The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed that a turkey growing facility in Moniteau County has been infected by avian influenza. The facility, located at 35764 Newkirk Road in Fortuna, houses 21,000 turkeys. The MDA is continuing its coordinated response with USDA, state health officials and industry partners.
Previously, on March 8, the Missouri Department of Agriculture confirmed that turkeys at a grower facility in Jasper County, with a commercial turkey flock of 30,100, had been infected with H5N2 avian influenza. That facility is located at 30213 Thyme Road in Asbury. USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) reported the Jasper County facility was the first time H5N2 had been detected in Missouri. Outbreaks of a strain of avian flu have occurred in Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Idaho and are not considered to be a threat to public health or the food supply. While lethal to birds, no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally, and there is no immediate public health concern. – For complete release see http://agriculture.mo.gov/news/2015/MDA_confirms_avian_influenza_in_second_Missouri_facility
Arkansas 03/11/15 US Dept of Agriculture: PRESS RELEASE – The USDA-APHIS has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Boone County, Arkansas. The flock of 40,020 turkeys is located within the Mississippi flyway where this strain of avian influenza has previously been identified. CDC considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low. Samples from the turkey flock, which experienced increased mortality, were tested at the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the findings. APHIS is working closely with the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission on a joint incident response. State officials quarantined the affected premises and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. No human infections with the virus have been detected at this time. – For complete release see http://www.aphis.usda.gov/stakeholders/downloads/2015/sa_hpai_arkansas.pdf
BEAR ATTACK DEFENSE:
Montana 03/10/15 kxlh.com: by Simone DeAlba – With temperatures warming and bears starting to wake up, it’s important to be safe when enjoying Montana’s outdoors, and a new tool could give you a fighting chance if you happen upon a grouchy grizzly. After a close encounter, 57-year-old Billy Lucas designed the Back Attack Pack. It could end up buying you some time if you find yourself in the midst of a bear attack. UDAP, a company in Butte, manufactures the product.
UDAP general manager Tim Lynch says that the backpack should be used as a last line of defense for outdoor enthusiasts who could have less than three seconds to respond in a life-threatening situation. “It allows a person to spray bear-spray behind them,” said Lynch. “If you were to get attacked from behind you could actually pull a rip cord, kind of like a reserve on a parachute, (and) it will deploy the spray behind you.” Lucas lives in Livingston and is a former Hollywood stuntman who has appeared in movies such as “The Terminator.” Lucas said he invented the backpack after being surprised by a bear while fishing in Montana. “I’ve seen bears in Yellowstone Park walking around but never had one run out on me when I was fishing, and it scared me to death,” said Lucas.
“I started doing research on bear attacks and found out that most people, when they’re attacked by a bear, they do what you think a person would do. Immediate reaction was to get down and protect your vitals and get on your face on the ground. I started thinking, how can you deploy bear spray in a defensive position?” From that brainstorming was born the Back Attack Pack. It’s meant to be used in conjunction with bear spray, and can accommodate cans of all sizes. It retails for $149. – See http://www.kxlh.com/story/28357677/livingston-man-creates-backpack-to-defend-against-bear-attacks