In 2015, an outbreak of avian flu led to the depopulation of 50 million birds across Iowa and the Midwest. During the height of the outbreak last summer, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration halted egg inspections to try to curb the spread of the virus.
Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says that the state halted inspections after the FDA announced they would do the same.
“We dealt with the largest animal health emergency in U.S. history last year,” says Naig. “Two hundred and eleven sites were impacted naturally; 77 were impacted in Iowa. Our community here bore the brunt of that emergency.”
Naig says that FDA and the state are considering resuming those inspections later this spring, after the high treat time for the start of another outbreak passes.
“[Last year], we started with our first case here in mid-April, so as we move through the spring, again, I would think that is would be very logical that FDA would resume at that time, and that is certainly the time frame we’re looking at here in Iowa.”
During this hour of River to River, Naig talks with host Ben Kieffer about the outbreak and about the state’s response.
Also during this hour of River to River:
Des Moines Police Sergeant Paul Parizek remembers two Des Moines police officers who were killed in a car accident last weekend on Interstate-80. Iowa Public Radio Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell gives an update on the 2016 legislative session. John Pleasants, adjunct assistant professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology at Iowa State University shares some models he’s recently worked up showing possible quasi-extinction of monarch butterflies. Iowa Public Radio’s Jacqueline Halbloom previews April’s Iowa Arts Showcase, and Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis shares a new idea for combating the emerald ash borer.