Avian Flu

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has more information and will be adding current updates at their web site: http://datcp.wi.gov/Animals/Animal_Diseases/Avian_Influenza/

Recently, there have been several confirmed reports of avian influenza (AI) in poultry flocks in the United States and Canada. Some of these have been highly pathogenic, causing a high percentage of mortality in affected flocks.  In response to these outbreaks, a great deal of time and effort must be spent quarantining and testing adjacent flocks.This virus does not discriminate between large or small flocks, or husbandry type. Large commercial flocks have been infected, as have small hobby flocks. In response to confirmed AI outbreaks, many countries refuse to allow poultry and egg shipments from affected states. Because of the public health and economic consequences, it is important for all poultry owners to do everything they can to prevent infection in their flocks.

Avian influenza is caused by a virus. It is not uncommon for wild birds (esp. waterfowl and shorebirds) to carry this virus. As these birds migrate, influenza can spread long distances quickly. The wild birds often don’t show any signs of sickness, but continue to spread the virus in their feces. Domestic poultry (including chickens, turkeys, pheasants, ducks, geese, quail, and guineafowl), as well as pet birds, can be infected by exposure to wild waterfowl, or their droppings. This exposure could be to the wild birds or their feces directly, or exposure to contaminated shoes, clothing, crates or other equipment.

If your birds are sick or dying, call DATCP at 1-800-572-8981. If you notice dead wild birds, call the DNR’s hotline at 1-800-433-1610.

Biosecurity Tips can be found here: http://fyi.uwex.edu/poultry/2015/03/06/avian-influenza-a-good-time-to-tighten-biosecurity/

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