Published with permission by Poultry Times. Originally posted on May 16, 2017.
The U.S. poultry industry is not prepared for an avian influenza outbreak, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.
One of the problems is that the federal government relies heavily on volunteer efforts to provide biosecurity measures. However, according to the report, the USDA is coming up with two major initiatives to encourage biosecurity improvements.
All this is not to say that the USDA is not working hard in response to avian influenza. Surveillance, mass depopulation, disposal and continuity of business are some of the responsibilities the agency handles in response to avian influenza.
However, the corrective actions used against the disease, such as the plans used in 2014 and 2016, the agency created corrective actions against the disease, but these plans have not been evaluated to see how effective they are [sic].
Though the virus has been quiet in the U.S. for several weeks now, it has made a recent resurgent in the U.K. and a deadly zoonotic-strain has been ongoing in China, already killing more than 2,000 people. The summer heat helps combats the disease, but there is no guarantee that it will not return. Three states were reported to have the virus in the hot summer month of July last year.