Governor Branstad: State Government Working Together to Stop Avian Flu Spread

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SIBLEY, Iowa -- Governor Terry Branstad made a stop Osceola County Wednesday, some 14 miles away from the farm hard hit by avian flu.

The Governor, along with Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds had a prior schedule to speak to the Sibley Rotary Club. The Governor said he is getting full briefings from a member of his staff who attends meetings and conference calls on the handling of the incident.

The farm will need to destroy 3.8 million egg-laying birds on the farm, due to the flu infection. The Governor said his office is working closely with the USDA and all state agencies, including Homeland Security to assure the influenza does not spread.

At the barns Wednesday, loaders could be seen putting dark material into large trucks. The material was then transferred into a field unit, like ones used to put fertilizer on farm fields. The tricycle-type tractor was seen spreading dark material on the fields east of the barns.

"This whole area around this outbreak will be quarantined and carefully monitored," Branstad said. "We want to assure people this is no threat to humans."

The Governor told reporters he had gotten some questions about the avian flu on his tour of Iowa. In Osceola County near the infected farm, no public questions were asked. The Governor told those gathered, his staff is doing everything possible with state government to assist in the situation.

Branstad added that he is not changing his schedule to visit the farm.

"I'm being informed, and fully briefed, and frankly it's not good to have any unnecessary traffic into the area," the Governor said.  "We don't want to do anything, in any way to spread the avian flu."

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