Indiana Trains Prisoners To Combat Avian Flu

Jun 2, 2015

The avian flu has significantly affected Indiana's turkey exports. Even though only a small flock was found with the virus, several countries have banned import of Indiana poultry.
Credit indianapublicmedia.org/news

Indiana is training 300 prisoners how to euthanize and properly dispose of poultry infected by viruses.

It’s one of several precautions the state is taking to prevent a new strain of the avian flu from taking hold in the state.

Indiana has been lucky so far. Two strains of avian flu have killed about 10 percent of the poultry industry’s laying flock nationally.

Indiana had only one case last month in a backyard flock.

But Indiana State Poultry Association Vice President Paul Brennan says the virus could hit Indiana hard any day.

“There’s a lot of risk here. This disease is still growing. There’s nothing keeping it from Indiana except our good fortune and every effort to keep ourselves biosecure.”

In addition to training low-level prisoners on how to depopulate bird flocks, the state board of animal health is limiting how much contact poultry flocks can have with other birds across the state. That includes banning them from the state and county fairs.