Gov. Walz Signs Executive Order to Fight Spread of Avian Influenza
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed an executive order to help fight the spread of avian influenza in the state.
According to a press release from his office, on September 28th, Walz signed Executive Order 22-21, which waives trucking regulations. The order states restriction of certain hours for service equipment would possibly hinder the transportation of important commodities used in emergency response efforts by poultry growers, industry associations and animal health experts.
Emergency equipment and supplies for highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI) as defined in the order include: poultry feed trucks, poultry load-out trailers, poultry feed, materials used exclusively for the composting process of animals that have been depopulated due to HPAI, live poultry, and animal carcasses.
Executive Order 22-21 is the third order Governor Walz has signed in order to help alleviate the effects of avian influenza. The other two executive orders are Executive Orders 22-05 and 22-09. Both also provided relief from certain regulations for people transporting HPAI emergency equipment and supplies.
“We are taking swift action to contain the spread of avian influenza and support Minnesota’s poultry farmers and producers,” said Governor Walz. “I’m grateful for the collaboration with Minnesota’s poultry industry and our federal partners to respond to these cases and protect our strong poultry industry.”
HPAI was confirmed earlier throughout 2022 but was first detected in March. The disease poses a high risk for poultry but not for humans. Currently, there are no food safety regulations in place. A key part of the response to HPAI is to depopulate the infected flocks. Transporting live, uninfected animals to processing facilities and ensuring farms have enough supplies to support the healthy flocks are included in the emergency response.
The order is immediately in effect and will continue until October 28th, 2022.