Turkey growers managing disease threats beyond high-path avian flu

The chair of the National Turkey Federation says highly pathogenic avian influenza isn’t the only disease growers are managing.

John Zimmerman tells Brownfield the current HPAI outbreak is going into its third year.

“Which seems to be sticking around. And in addition to that there are some other disease challenges that are cropping back up. These things come and go and some of our old nemesis are returning and we have to dust off the research we did before and continue to adapt to the new viruses.”

The turkey grower from Northfield, Minnesota says avian pneumovirus was a problem during the 1990’s.

“And that’s reared its ugly head again. There’s a vaccine for that but (the issue) is ramping up production of the vaccine and getting it distributed to combat the current strain, which is slightly different than the one we saw back in the 90’s.”

Zimmerman calls reovirus another disease that’s causing problems for the turkey industry.

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