INDIANAPOLIS (AP/WANE) — Federal and state agencies say a strain of avian flu that can cause high mortality rates among birds has been confirmed at a commercial turkey farm in southern Indiana.

The United States Department of Agriculture says its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza was found at the farm in Dubois County. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health says the farm is under quarantine and that the farm’s 29,000 turkeys are being euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease.

The USDA says it is the first confirmation of highly pathogenic bird flu in commercial poultry in the U.S. since 2020.

According to Purdue Extension-Dubois County, Indiana’s poultry industry ranks third nationally in turkey production, first in duck production, second in table eggs and egg-laying chickens, and is a significant producer of broiler chickens. The poultry industry employs more than 14,000 Hoosiers and is valued at $2.5 billion.

Hobby poultry owners are encouraged to practice good biosecurity and be aware of the signs of avian influenza and report illness and/or death to the USDA Healthy Birds Hotline:  866-536-7593. Callers will be routed to a state or federal veterinarian in Indiana for a case assessment. Dead birds should be double-bagged and refrigerated for possible testing.

Signs include:  sudden death without clinical signs; lack of energy or appetite; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling or purple discoloration of head, eyelids, comb, hocks; nasal discharge; coughing; sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. A resource for backyard bird health information is online at:  www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources