Monday, August 31, 2015

State veterinarian unites agencies against bird flu

By Linda Breazeale
MSU Ag Communications
PEARL, Miss. -- The Mississippi Board of Animal Health will not be alone in the battle to protect the state’s poultry industry from bird flu this winter.
“Now is the time to make sure our response plans are in place to minimize bird losses and economic damage when migratory birds return from infected nesting grounds,” said Dr. Jim Watson, state veterinarian with the Mississippi Board of Animal Health.
Watson recently invited university poultry experts, agriculture officials and representatives of Mississippi poultry companies to a meeting at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory in Pearl to address concerns.
“Of the 21 states with highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks from last December through June, some of them handled their responses without external forces coming in from the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” Watson said. “If Mississippi has an outbreak, we must be prepared to handle the response ourselves because USDA may be deployed to other states experiencing outbreaks.” read more....