In order to gear for any further highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks, the US Department of Agriculture will provide $502 million under the Animal Health Protection Act to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). According to the Department, they try to combat the virus in the whole US.
“However, HPAI is still prevalent in many parts of the world and in wild bird populations and the threat remains high,” it said. “This funding transfer will ensure that USDA can continue to stay on top of this outbreak and be ready to respond if detections increase.”
Before that funding was established, the USDA has invested over $793 million in emergency funding for means to keep down outbreaks.
According to data released by APHIS, to 28 June 58.7 million poultry across 47 states were affected by the H5N1 strain of avian influenza.
An addition by the USDA said, that there was no HPAI in commercial poultry since April 19, 2023, or in backyard poultry since May 18, 2023.
Next to consequences for human food supply chain, HPAI influences pet food supply chain too since chicken is the most popular protein used in pet food. In 2018, 854,988 tons of chicken, 74,734 tons of turkey, and 10,221 tons of duck were used in dog and cat food formulas in the US.