- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has extended a state of disaster emergency through Aug. 30 in response to the bird flu outbreak in the state.

The declaration Tuesday is the third extension of the original disaster proclamation. It otherwise would have expired Friday.

The virus has infected more than 31.5 million birds in Iowa, mostly egg-laying chickens, making the state the hardest hit in the nation.

Branstad’s declaration activates disaster response programs, allows the use of state supplies and makes other efforts to speed response efforts.

Branstad says disposal of dead birds and disinfection of barns has been completed and turkey farms are expected to be ready for restocking by the end of August. Some chicken operations may be ready for new birds in September.

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