Minnesota lawmakers approve $1M in emergency bird flu response

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Legislature has rushed through $1 million in emergency funding to bolster the fight against bird flu. The highly contagious disease has cost the state’s turkey farmers more than 1 million birds so far.

Senate Agriculture Chairman Torrey Westrom pointed out before the unanimous votes in both chambers Thursday that the numbers of affected Minnesota farms and birds have doubled in less than a week.

Minnesota is the top turkey producing state, with nearly 700 farms that raise about 40 million birds per year. Across the U.S., the outbreak is the biggest since 2015, with Iowa the hardest hit state.