Listen Live

DUBOIS COUNTY, Ind.--Progress is being made in stopping the bout of avian flu that has seriously affected six farms in Dubois and Greene counties. The areas around the four farms affected in Dubois County are no longer under quarantine and no longer have to have permits to sell poultry or eggs, said Denise Derrer Spears, spokesperson for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

“The four farms in Dubois County are still under quarantine, as are the two farms in Greene County. So, the actual affected farms are the only ones that are under quarantine now with this step,” said Spears.

LISTEN: Denise Derrer Spears talks progress in fighting the avian flu outbreak

But, so far 171,000 commercial turkeys have been destroyed to help prevent the spread of avian flu, which Spears described as a “significant loss” to the families on the six affected farms.

“These six farm families have basically lost their source of livelihood. It’s a big loss. They put a lot of work into keeping these birds healthy.”

That work may be no match for what nature continues to due. Spears said 16 new findings of avian flu have been reported 17 states in the past week. She warns anyone who keeps birds, be it commercial or for a hobby, to be on the lookout for signs and to get their birds tested.

“The threat from avian influenza is not over,” she said. “It’s still out there. We’re just not seeing as much in Indiana, which is good news for us. But, we’re not over with this yet.”

Spears said the next steps for the farms affected by the current bout include the completion of the cleaning, disinfection and disposal processes, which includes testing the compost and disposing of it, once it’s been determined it no longer contains any virus.

She said once the buildings are completely cleaned and disinfected, the Board will do some environmental testing, taking swabs of the floors, walls and ventilation systems. Once those have been cleared, the barns will have to be empty for a while and then birds will be allowed in there again.