The Governor of Minnesota signed an executive order this week waiving some Hours of Service requirements and weight restrictions in an attempt to combat the spread of the avian flu between poultry farms. 

Executive Order 22-05 was signed by Governor Tim Walz and eases the restrictions in order to speed up depopulation efforts of infected poultry, as well as the transportation of uninfected animals to processing facilities. The executive order is also intended to help with maintaining adequate supplies to support healthy flocks, reported KIMT3 News.

Walz says that this loosening of restrictions will help not only to deal with sick animals and care for healthy animals, but could help to prevent the spread of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) between flocks by limiting the number of trips trucks need to make to various farms. 

“As someone who grew up on a family farm, I know the work our farmers and producers do is tough under the very best conditions. We will continue to work with Minnesota’s poultry industry and our federal partners to quickly and decisively respond to the HPAI cases in Minnesota and ensure our poultry industry remains strong,” says Governor Walz. The Executive order will remain in effect through April 30th. 

The current HPAI outbreak in Minnesota is considered a high risk to poultry but a low risk to the public. There are no food safety concerns for consumers. 

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