Composting Mortality in an Avian Influenza Outbreak
The 2014–2015 outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is classified as the largest animal health emergency in U.S. history. Approximately 49.6 million birds have been affected in 21 states. As of October 2015, USDA reported 232 detections (211 commercial facilities and 21 backyard flocks), with the last confirmed case occurring in Iowa in June 2015. There is concern, however, that the disease may reappear this fall/winter or perhaps next spring in conjunction with migration of waterfowl, which are the main reservoir for the virus. At this point, a sound biosecurity program is the best defense against the virus affecting commercial or backyard flocks in Mississippi.