Latest avian influenza FAQs

The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) works closely with state and national agencies to coordinate the communication of the latest information on avian influenza to Minnesota’s poultry farmers through a variety of methods. We provide education and outreach to our members on how farmers can keep their flocks safe from disease threats, while working closely with University of Minnesota Extension to provide information to small flock and backyard flock owners. We continue, as always, to communicate with other state poultry associations as needed, and serve as a resource for the media.

The turkey products you purchase are completely safe to eat: 

    • Avian influenza  is NOT a food safety issue. All flocks are tested for this virus, well before going to market. Any flocks tested positive for the virus are NOT allowed to enter the food supply.
    • All poultry identified with highly pathogenic avian influenza are prohibited by law from entering the marketplace.
    • As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled properly and cooked to an internal temperature of 165° F to kill bacteria and viruses.

There is also very little human health risk:

    • The risk of human infection is very low. To date, the HPAI strains that have been found in the United States have not been detected in humans.
    • Risk of infection is limited to people in direct contact with affected birds.

For more information, please visit the Minnesota Board of Animal Health’s website.

Media requests for photos: view media gallery here.

Hotlines & Important Websites

  • Click HERE for hotline numbers and websites with helpful information:
    • General inquiries about avian influenza
    • Reporting sick/dead poultry
    • Reporting sick/dead wild birds
    • Poultry permits for farmers (required within control zones)
    • And more

Feed Deliveries - Biosecurity Info

Info for Backyard Flock Owners

Helpful fact sheets for owners of backyard/urban flock owners and pastured/organic flocks:

Information for Wild Turkey Hunters

DNR asks that if you see a dead or sick wild turkey or raptor, mark the location by GPS if possible and contact DNR with the coordinates. Contacts are:

  • Wildlife Health Program Supervisor Michelle Carstensen at 612-390-9979;
  • Wildlife Health Specialist Erik Hildebrand at 612-597-8141; or
  • Contact your local area wildlife manager by finding their information at www.mndnr.gov/wildlife and clicking on the area contact map.

Additional information from the DNR on avian influenza is available here.

Minnesota Turkey Facts

Examples of Biosecurity Practices

Farmers use a variety of biosecurity practices to keep germs out of turkey barns, including wearing dedicated boots for barn work (and tucking pant legs into the boots); stepping in a foot bath with disinfectant before entering and upon leaving the barn; and making sure vehicle wheels are washed with a disinfectant before entering the farm.

Danish Entry Biosecurity System – Videos

These videos detail what a “Danish Entry” system of biosecurity looks like.