MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton called an emergency meeting Monday to discuss the state’s response to the fast-moving bird flu outbreak.
He’s considering extending our current state of emergency to 30 days. So far, the virus has killed more than 2.5 million turkeys in Minnesota. It’s a devastating blow for local farmers. Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in the country.
U.S. Senator Klobuchar met with poultry producers Monday morning in Litchfield. She says some producers have lost everything all in one week. Klobuchar said it was very emotional with several of them breaking down.
About 45 commercial turkey farms in Minnesota have been hit by the bird flu outbreak. Sen. Klobuchar said she’s working with the USDA to ensure farmers get the financial help they need to control the virus.
Klobuchar said she’s currently looking at loans programs as well as the possibility of vaccinating the birds to help prevent future outbreaks. She said this virus is impacting not only farmers, but the state’s communities and economy.
“We had people who’ve been in the business in their 50s and 60s and thought they might lose their business, who wanted to pass it on to their sons and daughters and not knowing what’s going to happen in the future,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar said the bird flu outbreak extends past Minnesota and has impacted 16 states. She said people can help and show their support, by continuing to eat turkey products off store shelves, which are safe.