Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad last week declared a state of emergency for all of Iowa after a flurry of the state’s poultry farms were hit with avian flu.

"This particular avian influenza is a disaster emergency that we need to take very seriously," Branstad said during a press conference on May 1. "We need to do everything we can to try to minimize the loss to help the people that are affected."

The number of Iowa chicken, turkey and egg-laying facilities that were either confirmed or presumed to be affected by the avian flu grew last week to 21 in 10 Iowa counties.

The declaration means a larger coordinated effort of state and federal agencies and resources in response to H5 avian flu outbreaks in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Transportation may temporarily suspend the regulatory provisions like hours of service or truck weight limits as crews work to depopulate flocks.

The proclamation of disaster emergency will...