This week the state of Wisconsin announced a confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a large commercial layer flock, marking the 17th state with a confirmed case in 2022 and the largest commercial case in the country to date. This serves as a reminder that the spread of diseases, even those that have been around for a number of years, can have significant financial impacts on the animal health industry. Control measures for HPAI include depopulating the entire premises where the disease is confirmed – in this most recent case, a facility with 3 million birds.
It’s encouraging to note that the USDA is investing in research into preventing these kinds of devastating animal diseases, but $13 million is a drop in the bucket. Our industry needs to continue to invest in R&D efforts – not just vaccines, but other novel strategies for disease prevention and control – to stay ahead of these wily microbes.