As the poultry industry braces for a potential return of bird flu this fall, wildlife managers expect the first results next week from tests that could provide an early warning on whether ducks are carrying the disease as they fly south for the winter.
Department of Natural Resources staffers were out last weekend for the opening of Minnesota's waterfowl season. Lou Cornicelli, the DNR's wildlife research manager, says they got more than halfway to their goal of collecting 800 samples from ducks shot by hunters. More sampling is planned.
Those samples will now be tested for highly pathogenic bird flu viruses such as H5N2, the kind that devastated the Midwest poultry industry earlier this year.
Cornicelli says he expects to get the first test results back early next week.