Market News & Headlines >> Iowa Declares Emergency over Bird Flu

Iowa Governor Terry Branstad declared a state of emergency on Friday due to the rapidly expanding bird flu outbreak after state agriculture officials announced preliminary positive test results for four new poultry farms.

Iowa's state of emergency is effective immediately now and will be in force until at least the end of May, depending on developments in the outbreak, Branstad told a news conference.

Some 21 farm sites in 10 Iowa counties have been reported as having either confirmed or presumed positive cases, including 9 that tested positive in the past 24 hours.

Iowa, the top U.S. egg-producing state, is the third state to declare a state of emergency because of the viral outbreak. Minnesota and Wisconsin declared states of emergency in April.

The measure expands the efforts of the state's emergency response plan, and authorizes various state entities access to additional resources, supplies and equipment to track and contain the influenza outbreak. It also allows for the removal and disposal of infected animals on either public or private lands and lifts weight restrictions on trucks hauling culled flocks, among other things.

In addition, the action allows the state and local law enforcement to set up checkpoints and road blocks anywhere in the state, including areas outside of quarantined farms, "in order to stop the spread of this contagious disease," according to the governor's proclamation.