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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, February 23, 2024
Scott Walker

Scott Walker responded to an avian flu outbreak and elevated drought levels by declaring two states of emergency Monday.

Governor declares states of emergency in response to bird flu, wildfire threats

Gov. Scott Walker declared two states of emergency Monday in an attempt to contain an outbreak of a deadly bird flu virus and elevated drought levels.

State agricultural authorities detected the potentially harmful strain in two flocks of poultry last week in Juneau, Jefferson and Barron counties. The H5N2 strain has appeared recently in other flocks throughout the Midwest.

Walker emphasized in a statement the potentially damaging effects of the disease on the state’s agricultural sector but also said the strain poses no threats to humans.

“We must act quickly and efficiently to contain the outbreak and protect domestic poultry,” Walker said in the statement. “It is important to note, however, there is no threat to humans with the avian flu outbreak.”

The governor authorized the state National Guard to assist in containing the disease and aid in any site cleanup, citing the unavailability of federal aid to address the situation.

A spate of abnormally dry weather also forced Walker to declare a separate state of emergency due to an elevated risk of wildfire.

The governor issued an executive order authorizing the Department of Natural Resources and the National Guard to assist in the event of an emergency.

“Wisconsin has been experiencing extended conditions of abnormally dry weather conditions statewide, leading to an ongoing statewide wildfire danger and threat that may affect the safety of persons and property,” the executive order read.

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