85,000 birds euthanized as South Dakota sees first avian flu outbreak since 2015


State officials say 85,000 birds at two South Dakota facilities have been euthanized as the state tackles its first avian flu outbreak since 2015. Two other sites are under investigation.

“I think the response is going well and the industry has done a great job of stepping up and trying to prevent it,” said Dr. Mendel Miller, the assistant state veterinarian.

“They’re doing everything they can, but you know, there’s just some things that are out of their control, and we just have to deal with it when it happens,” he added.

The outbreaks were detected in turkeys at two concentrated animal feeding operations in Charles Mix County, in the southeast part of the state. But other kinds of poultry in close contact with the turkeys were euthanized as well.

Miller said the South Dakota Veterinary Medical Exam Board does not share the names of facilities with outbreaks.

Two other sites are under investigation and Miller said those counties will be identified if the tests come back positive.

About 10 South Dakota farms saw avian flu outbreaks in 2015, Miller said. The outbreak impacted 50 million birds in 15 states. It cost the federal government nearly $1 billion and caused egg prices to spike.


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