Bird flu found in three more states

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Poultry barn
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

WASHINGTON — The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza, or bird flu, in a backyard mixed species poultry flock in Franklin County, Kansas, a commercial layer chicken flock in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, and a noncommercial backyard flock (nonpoultry) in Mclean County, Illinois.

Samples from the Kansas flock were tested at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and samples from the Illinois flock were tested at the University of Illinois Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Samples from the Wisconsin flock were tested at the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.

All laboratories are part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. The samples were confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

APHIS is working closely with state animal health officials in both states on joint incident responses. State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the properties will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flocks will not enter the food system.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the U.S. As a reminder, properly handling and cooking all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahreinheit is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

Response

As part of existing avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flocks. The United States has the strongest avian influenza surveillance program in the world, and USDA is working with its partners to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets and in migratory wild bird populations.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists and a toolkit available at aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.

Trade

USDA will report these findings to the World Organisation for Animal Health as well as international trading partners. USDA also continues to communicate with trading partners to encourage adherence to OIE standards and minimize trade impacts.

OIE trade guidelines call on countries to base trade restrictions on sound science and, whenever possible, limit restrictions to those animals and animal products within a defined region that pose a risk of spreading disease of concern. OIE trade guidelines also call on member countries to not impose bans on the international trade of poultry commodities in response to notifications in non-poultry.

APHIS will continue to announce the first case of HPAI in commercial and backyard flocks detected in a state, but will not announce subsequent detections in the state. All cases in commercial and backyard flocks will be listed at aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/2022-hpai.

Biosecurity

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state and federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or through APHIS’ toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.

APHIS urges producers to consider bringing birds indoors when possible to further prevent exposures.

The Animal Health Protection Act authorizes APHIS to provide indemnity payments to producers for birds and eggs that must be depopulated during a disease response. APHIS also provides compensation for disposal activities and virus elimination activities. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.

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