Written by Tyler R. Etter
Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources has conducted more than 750 tests on ducks killed by
hunters this season. So far, none of the tests have returned a positive result for Highly Pathogenic Avian
Infected waterfowl could be an early warning for the return of the disease. The current belief is that wild
ducks are the primary carriers of the virus. Although the wild population generally faces no impact, the
past outbreak this spring has shown the devastation that can occur within domestic poultry populations,
with Minnesota and Iowa being the hardest hit states.
The current results might seem promising on the surface, but research manager Lou Cornicelli is
reluctant to draw a conclusion based on the results. He believes that there could be a number of
explanations, including sampling issues, time frame within the season, or the possibility that ducks are
not the primary carrier as currently thought.
The department plans to collect at least another 200 samples to get data on late-migrating populations.