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The following hotlines are available to the public to address the following topics related to avian influenza in Minnesota.

General questions about avian influenza and biosecurity 888-702-9963
Report sick or dead poultry (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
320-214-6700 Ext. 3804
Report sick or dead wild waterfowl
888-646-6367 (DNR)
Movement permits into/within/out of the control zones 651-201-6817
Online permit request form


Permit Requirements for Control Areas

All avian influenza (AI) permit requests and supporting documents should be submitted to mnairesponse

A permit is required for each movement into or out of an AI control area for the poultry/products listed below:

  • Birds,
  • Eggs,
  • Semen,
  • Manure,
  • Litter, and
  • Feed deliveries.

Permits are for movement from the origin premises – therefore, requests for permits should come from the origin premises. All requests should be submitted 24 – 48 hours prior to the desired movement.

Birds, Semen or Eggs from Commercial Farms

  1. Testing. Two negative PCR tests (5 bird pooled samples for each barn) are required. Samples for the second test must be collected the day prior to the date of each shipment.  Test results must be verified before a permit is issued.
  2. Mortality logs. A mortality log of the previous 14 days for each barn on the site must be submitted the day prior to the date of each shipment.
  3. Biosecurity audits. A biosecurity audit must be submitted one time for each premises. Daily audits are no longer required.

Table Eggs or Poultry for Slaughter from Backyard Poultry Flocks

Movement of table eggs or poultry moving directly to slaughter within or out of a control area to destinations without poultry may be allowed from premises where the flock size is less than 500 birds. The following permit conditions apply:

  • Poultry on site not destined for slaughter remain quarantined
  • Poultry on site have had at least one negative PCR test
  • Any unusual or increased mortality is reported immediately to the Board and will be investigated by a regulatory official
  • Permit allows egg movement or poultry movement directly to locations without poultry such as a farmer’s market or poultry processing facility
    • Movement records of the location, quantity moved and date will be kept and available to the Board on request
  • Poultry moved for slaughter must be:
    • Transported in washed and clean crates/coops
    • Crates/coops and vehicle exterior and interior must be washed prior to returning home
    • Clean clothing/footwear must be worn prior to returning to flock (if any) on premises
  • All eggs to be moved off site must be:
    • Washed and free of fecal matter
    • Stored in new egg cartons or cases
    • Handlers must have clean clothing, footwear, and transport eggs in clean vehicles

If all conditions can be met, a permit will be issued and valid for 30 days.

Manure and Litter Off of a Non-Infected Farm

Manure and litter can be moved off non-infected poultry farms in a control area with an approved permit to move. Negative AI test results for the farm must be confirmed before the permit is issued.

Requests must include:

  1. Origin. This is the farm location where the manure or litter is currently located.
  2. Destination. The destination location can be one of two options:
  • The address of the company or business that will be moving/spreading the litter or;
  • The destination site if the litter is going for incineration.

One permit will be issued to move manure or litter from one farm and will be valid for three days. If additional time is needed, another permit must be issued.

Feed Delivery Permitting

For feed mill facilities with one or more delivery locations that are poultry sites in a control area:


  1. All deliveries of feed to a poultry site must be permitted, regardless of AI control zone designation.
    • 30 day blanket permits will be issued for each feed mill location, covering all delivery sites.
  2. Logs of all deliveries must be submitted monthly at the time of permit renewal.
  3. Deliveries to any sites known to have had HPAI infected poultry must have prior approval by the site’s case manager.
  4. Ingredients delivered to feed mills will no longer need permitting.

Permitting Process

Response Zones

When a Minnesota premises is identified with highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), on-the-ground response efforts begin immediately. Animal health officials carry out a number of activities according to protocols established by the U. S. Department of Agriculture in order to manage the disease and reduce any potential risk of its spread. These activities take place not only on the affected premises, but also in two areas around the affected premises called the control area and surveillance zone.

Affected Site

Premises infected with HPAI are placed under quarantine, prohibiting the movement of poultry and poultry products on or off of the affected site. The USDA works with infected flock owners to develop a flock plan which includes appraisal and indemnity agreements for depopulation of poultry that remain on the premises. After depopulation of the flock, all turkey carcasses on the affected farms are composted inside of the barns. This process takes approximately one month to complete.

Control Area

The control area is a 10 km zone is established around infected flocks. Within this zone, officials work to identify all premises with commercial and backyard poultry. Backyard flocks are placed under quarantine and cannot move poultry or poultry products on or off of their premises. These flocks must complete two rounds of surveillance testing, all of which must be negative before quarantines can be lifted.

Commercial flocks inside of the control area undergo surveillance in accordance with U. S. Department of Agriculture protocols. All commercial poultry producers in the control area also comply with stringent biosecurity and permitting protocols in order to move poultry or poultry products off of their farms.

Surveillance Zone

The surveillance zone is a 10 km zone surrounding the control area. Animal health officials identify all premises within this zone that have commercial and backyard poultry to provide them with information on HPAI and advise them on biosecurity and close monitoring of their flocks.

Commercial poultry operations that fall within this area are currently testing their flocks for avian influenza every seven days in accordance with protocols established by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.


Control Area Quarantine Release

Once certain criteria is met, HPAI control areas are released from quarantine. This means that poultry producers and backyard flock owners of non-infected premises are no longer restricted in moving poultry or poultry products off of or onto their farms.

Please note: The Board will notify flock owners in writing once the quarantine on his/her birds has been lifted. If you are a backyard flock owner or commercial producer and are unsure of your quarantine status, please contact the Board by calling (651) 201-6817.

The following HPAI control areas have been released from quarantine:

County and Control Area(s)

Date Control Area Quarantine Released

Lac Qui Parle 5-29-15
Pope 6-5-15
Nobles 6-10-15
Roseau 6-15-15
Pipestone 1, 2 6-17-15
Stearns 3, 7, 14 6-19-15
Stearns 5 6-22-15
Lyon 6-22-15
Watonwan 6-24-15
Clay 6-25-15
Steele 6-26-15
Le Sueur 6-26-15
Swift 1, 2, 5 6-29-15

Restocking Process

Affected farms can be cleared for restocking once the following processes are completed:

  1. Affected farms complete the cleaning and disinfecting process
  2. Environmental samples are taken and test negative for influenza
  3. Barns complete a 21-day down time
  4. Producer and animal health officials work together to develop restocking plan

Farms in the following counties have restocking agreements in place:


Number of Farms Restocked

Kandiyohi 1
Meeker 2
Ottertail 2
Pope 1
Stearns 5
Le Sueur 1
Lac Qui Parle 1


Affected Counties

June 5, 2015


Total # of Birds on Premises

Type of Poultry

Pope 1 44,000 Commercial Turkey
Lac Qui Parle 1 66,000 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 1 39,000 Commercial Turkey
Nobles 21,000 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 2 71,000 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 3 76,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 1 26,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 2 30,000 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 1 310,000 Commercial Turkey
Cottonwood 1 48,000 Commercial Turkey
Lyon 1 66,000 Commercial Turkey
Watonwan 1 30,000 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 4 45,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 3 38,000 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 5 76,000 Commercial Turkey
Le Sueur 1 21,500 Commercial Turkey
Swift 1 160,000 Commercial Turkey
Swift 2 154,000 Commercial Turkey
Redwood 1 56,000 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 2 25,000 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 3 20,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 4 30,000 Commercial Turkey
Otter Tail 1 21,000 Commercial Turkey
Roseau 1 26,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 5 152,000 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 6 67,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 6 23,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 7 9,000 Commercial Turkey
Wadena 1 301,000 Commercial Turkey
Cottonwood 2 30,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 8 61,000 Commercial Turkey
Otter Tail 2 34,500 Commercial Turkey
Redwood 2 35,500 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 9 75,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 12 19,100 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 13 34,500 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 14 61,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 15 80,300 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 7 28,600 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 8 72,500 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 9 53,800 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 4 58,900 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 5 46,000 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 6 10,700 Commercial Turkey
Pipestone 1 150 Mixed Backyard
Kandiyohi 10 62,600 Commercial Turkey
Clay 1 265,382 Layer Chickens
Kandiyohi 16 36,900 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 17 25,000 Commercial Turkey
Chippewa 68,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 11 4,900 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 18 42,900 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 19 67,000 Commercial Turkey
Redwood 3 11,100 Commercial Turkey
Redwood 4 24,300 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 10 27,000 Commercial Turkey
Steele 1 96,700 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 20 71,200 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 21 8,400 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 22 32,100 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 23 2,700 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 24 6,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 25 11,200 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 11 5,000 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 12 202,500 Layer Chickens
Swift 3 18,000 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 7 72,400 Commercial Turkey
Otter Tail 3 36,400 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 13 14,800 Commercial Turkey
Stearns 14 20,500 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 26 7,400 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 8 8,200 Commercial Turkey
Renville 1 12,900 Commercial Turkey
Nicollet 1 1,102,900 Layer Chickens
Kandiyohi 27 89,200 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 28* 0 Turkey Barns
Kandiyohi 29 11,200 Commercial Turkey
Pipestone 2 72,200 Commercial Turkey
Swift 4 46,200 Commercial Turkey
Swift 5 151,200 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 30 40,500 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 31 65,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 32 69,000 Commercial Turkey
Swift 6 65,500 Commercial Turkey
Swift 7 37,900 Commercial Turkey
Renville 2 2,044,000 Layer Chickens
Meeker 9 138,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 33 42,600 Commercial Turkey
Brown 1 46,800 Commercial Turkey
Renville 3 95,300 Commercial Turkey
Renville 4 48,900 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 34 17,700 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 35 22,800 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 36 50,900 Commercial Turkey
Brown 2 7,300 Commercial Turkey
Meeker 10 5,000 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 37 26,400 Commercial Turkey
Renville 5 44,800 Commercial Turkey
Blue Earth 1 19,400 Commercial Turkey
Renville 6 47,800 Commercial Turkey
Brown 3 18,300 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 38 7,000 Commercial Turkey
Brown 4 15,900 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 39 37,000 Commercial Turkey
Renville 7 415,000 Pullets
Renville 8 24,800 Commercial Turkey
Brown 5 39,100 Commercial Turkey
Kandiyohi 40 44,500 Commercial Turkey

*Barns were cleaned and disinfected due to exposure to potentially-infected turkeys

  • Total number of birds affected in Minnesota: 9,024,632
  • Total number of farms affected: 108
  • Total number of counties: 23


Identification and Announcement of HPAI Cases in Minnesota

There are several steps involved in confirming that a poultry flock is positive for a highly-pathogenic strain of avian influenza. Here is an outline of that process which includes timing of public notification:

  1. A poultry producer or backyard flock owner notices unusual death loss or other signs of illness in his/her birds.
  2. The individual notifies their veterinarian or an animal health official.
  3. Samples are collected from the birds on the premises.
  4. Samples are submitted to an approved state laboratory for preliminary testing.
  5. State laboratories are able to determine if the samples are positive for an H5 or H7 influenza virus. If samples are positive for an H5 or H7 virus, they are considered as presumptive positives and are forwarded to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.
  6. The Minnesota Board of Animal Health will include information on presumptive positive flocks on its website. These cases will also be shared through the State Emergency Operations Center Updates on Avian Influenza.
  7. NVSL is the only laboratory in the United States that is authorized to officially confirm the presence of a HPAI and identify the specific strain of virus. When NVSL confirms HPAI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture shares that information with the public by posting online.


Protecting your birds from disease has always been important. However, taking biosecurity to the next level is now more crucial than ever. As we work together to eliminate HPAI and add strength to Minnesota’s poultry industry, there are small steps you can take that will have a big impact.

  1. Eliminate opportunities for your birds to interact with wild birds. We know that wild waterfowl are carriers of disease, including HPAI. The best way to avoid diseases that wildlife carry is to keep domestic animals separated from the wild.
  2. If you have birds at home, do not visit another farm, home or facility that also has birds. If you must visit another premises, be sure to shower and put on clean clothes and shoes beforehand.
  3. Remember that vehicles can be vehicles for disease transmission. Before you drive down the road, consider where you are going. Will you be heading to the fair, another farm or a live bird market? If the answer is yes, be sure your vehicle is clean and free of dirt, manure and other organic material.
  4. Early detection can help prevent the spread of disease. Knowing the signs to look for and monitoring the health of your birds on a regular basis is very important. Some signs to look for include nasal discharge, unusually quiet birds, decreased food and water consumption, drop in egg production, and increased/unusual death loss in your flock.
  5. Report sick and dead birds to state health officials immediately. If your birds appear sick or you have experienced increased mortality, fill out our online report form or immediately call 320-214-6700 Ext. 3804.

Testing and Reporting


Samples for official AI testing must be collected by individuals trained and certified as authorized poultry testing agents. Once samples are collected, there is one diagnostic laboratory in Minnesota that is approved for testing samples for avian influenza by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For detailed information on sample submission and testing for AI PCR, contact:

University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Phone: (800) 605-8787


View the U o M VDL’s testing schedule.

Alternatively, samples may also be submitted to:

South Dakota State University Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory

Phone: (605) 688-5171

Avian Influenza PCR test questions: sdsu.pcrlab

General laboratory questions: sdsu.adrdl

Testing and Reporting Schedule

University of Minnesota VDL

July 4 Weekend Holiday Schedule


Courier Service

  • The courier schedule will run from Melrose and Willmar at the usual 9:00 am and 3:00 pm time slots on Friday July 3 and Sunday July 5. There will be no courier service on Saturday July 4 so samples collected that day need to be refrigerated.
  • After the holiday weekend, normal courier service resumes from both Melrose and Willmar locations.

UM-VDL Test Schedule

  • Samples received on Friday July 3 by 12:00 noon will be tested that day. Samples received in the afternoon will be tested Sunday July 5. There will be no testing of samples July 4 (Saturday).

Effective Monday July 6, 2015, the schedule for avian influenza (AI) virus PCR testing at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UM-VDL) will be as follows:

Pre-Movement and Control Area Surveillance Testing

  • Samples delivered to the UM-VDL by 12:00 noon will be tested and reported the same day. Results should be available by 5:00 pm. Any permits needed with this test result will be issued for movement on the next calendar day
  • Samples submitted to the UM-VDL after 12:00 noon will be tested the following morning beginning at 9am. Results should be available by 1:00 pm. Any permits needed with this test result will be issued for movement on a 24 hour period from the time the test result is available (e.g. Results available by 1:00 pm on 7/2/15 will have a permit issued for movement from 1:00 pm on 7/2/15 to 1:00 pm on 7/3/15).

Sick Bird AI Testing

  • Samples for same day sick bird testing will be accepted until 8:00 pm. Contact the UM-VDL by phone at 800-605-8787 and ask for either Dr. Rob Porter or Dr. Sunil Mor. Drs. Porter and Mor can also be reached during the day or after hours at 952-847-3476 (Dr. Porter) or 612-325-4620 (Dr. Mor). Producers can also call the sick bird hotline at 320-214-6700 extension 3804


South Dakota State University ADRDL

All samples received at the ADRDL by 1:00 pm each day will receive same day test results. Results are typically available between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

Note: If producers have a suspect flock, they shouldn’t hesitate to call ADRDL and request same-day results, even after 1:00 pm.

Sample Drop-Off Sites

All samples dropped off at one of the sites below must be accompanied by a completed submission form. Submission forms must reflect the site the birds were sampled at and the date the samples were collected.

Melrose Fire Station @ 405 N 2nd Ave E, Melrose, MN

Samples can be dropped off between 7:30 am and 3:00 pm. These samples will be couriered directly to the VDL twice each day at 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Willmar Law Enforcement Center @ 2201 23rd St NE, Suite 103, Willmar, MN

Samples can be dropped off between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm. These samples will be couriered directly to the VDL twice each day at 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Sleepy Eye – Brown County Offices 300 2nd Ave, Sleepy Eye, MN

Samples can be dropped off between 8:30 am and 10:00 am. These samples will be transported to the VDL by the 3:00 pm Willmar courier.


As we work to contain and get rid of HPAI in Minnesota, it is extremely important that backyard flock owners and poultry producers report sick or dead birds. Reports can be made in the following ways:

  • Call the reporting hotline at (320) 214-6700, ext. 3804
  • Fill out our online form
  • Contact your veterinarian or the Board of Animal Health

If you notice any of the following in your flock, a report should be made immediately:

  • Unusual or high death loss
  • Influenza-like signs such as nasal secretions, puffy eyes, ruffled feathers or a drop in egg production
  • Loss of appetite with decreased food and water consumption
  • Paralysis and other nervous signs
  • Lack of vocalization

Collaborative Effort


Even before HPAI was identified in Minnesota, we had a plan for how we would control and eliminate the disease if it ever came to our state. We are now putting this plan into action, but we are not doing it alone. Read about how our state and federal agencies are working alongside poultry producers to eliminate HPAI in Minnesota.

  • Minnesota Board of Animal Health – We are the lead response agency for on-the-ground operations and communications. Our team works closely with and under advisement of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on defining disease control zones, testing and quarantine procedures and public release of information.
  • Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory – The Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory (MPTL) is a collaborative effort of the Board of Animal Health and University of Minnesota. The primary focus of the MPTL is to serve and support Minnesota’s poultry industry. The MPTL performs all of the required disease testing for the state’s poultry industry and cooperates with the U of M Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) where necropsies are conducted and other types of molecular diagnostic testing are performed.
  • USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) – USDA-APHIS are our federal partners in responding to HPAI.
  • Minnesota Department of Health – Minnesota Department of Health’s (MDH) primary role is to coordinate with animal health agencies, local public health, and industry to identify, protect, and monitor the health of poultry workers and others in direct contact with infected birds. MDH also serves as a source of information for the public on any human health risks.
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture -The Minnesota Department of Agriculture provides emergency response support to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health during animal disease outbreaks.Through the establishment of an Incident Command System (ICS), the agencies are able to share facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures, and communications to effectively and efficiently respond to a domestic incident under urgent conditions.
  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) works in concert with other state and federal agencies to coordinate wildlife surveillance educate stakeholders on disease issues and formulate and implement wildlife disease response plans.
  • University of Minnesota – The University of Minnesota provides university research to those in the poultry industry. They provide education materials and programs for the commercial poultry industry, niche producers, extension educators, youth, and consumers.
  • University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory – The University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) is the official laboratory of the Board. They are a national leader in providing rapid diagnosis of animal diseases, identifying emerging diseases and developing new diagnostic methods as well as training diagnosticians and veterinarians. The VDL is committed to combating infectious disease and protecting Minnesota’s agricultural and natural resources.
  • Poultry Industry – The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association (MTGA) and the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota (CEAM) work closely with state and national agencies to coordinate the communication of the latest information to Minnesota’s poultry industry through a variety of methods. These organizations take the lead in providing education and outreach to their members on how farmers can keep their flocks safe from disease threats, while also working closely with University of Minnesota Extension to provide information to small flock and backyard flock owners. MTGA and CEAM communicate with other state poultry associations as needed, and serve as a resource for the media.

Disease Information

Influenza is a virus that can infect humans and many animal species, including poultry and other birds. Influenza is not uncommon and it has been around for centuries. Influenza in poultry is not a food safety issue.

Influenza in poultry falls into two groups: low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI), or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). Similar to influenza symptoms in people, birds infected with LPAI usually experience only mild signs if any, including respiratory signs such as conjunctivitis and nasal discharge, ruffled feathers or a drop in egg production. Unlike LPAI, the first indication of HPAI in poultry is sudden death, often without signs of illness. In the last 40 years, there have been introductions of LPAI in Minnesota poultry all of which have been successfully eliminated.

The Board continues to work together with Minnesota’s poultry industry and other state and federal agencies to prepare for and respond to introductions of influenza in poultry. The state’s voluntary cooperative control plan includes education, monitoring, reporting, and response. Testing for influenza in poultry is conducted at the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory in Willmar. Commercial and non-commercial poultry flocks are routinely monitored for influenza.