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Officials with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health say the 6.2-mile control area associated with the highly pathogenic avian influenza  incident in Dubois County was officially lifted Monday by the Indiana State Veterinarian.

They say as a result poultry owners, commercial and residential, in the area may now resume normal operations and movements of birds and poultry products.

Of course the control area was established on January 15th, after the highly pathogenic avian influenza was identified on a Dubois County commercial turkey farm. Poultry and poultry products could not enter or leave the control area without a negative avian influenza test and a permit issued by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.

Now because the tests must be completed within 24 hours of the movement, many commercial egg farms had to be tested daily to continue to move products. Since January 15th, the Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University has run more than 4300 avian influenza tests.

All farms consistently tested negative throughout the 38-day period, which allowed the Board of Animal Health to lift the control area, based on guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In addition to the initial infected farm, the low-pathogenicity avian influenza virus was identified on another nine nearby commercial turkey farms. All were depopulated, as prescribed by the USDA, as well as a non-infected commercial layer farm that was considered a dangerous contact premises. Quarantines remain on all of those sites until specific cleaning and disinfection requirements are complete.

As an extra measure of caution, the Board of Animal Health imposed a surveillance zone with the same testing requirements (but without the required permit) on commercial operations in an additional 6.2-mile surveillance zone. Those requirements have also been lifted.

Avian influenza poses no food safety threat. Poultry meat and eggs are safe to eat.

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