3/24/2015 Steps to Protect your Poultry from Avian Influenza

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2015
Contact:   
Christi Lightcap, CDA, (303) 869-9005, Christi.Lightcap@state.co.us
Jeff Dodge, CSU, (970) 491-4251, Jeff.Dodge@colostate.edu
 
Steps to Protect your Poultry from Avian Influenza
 
BROOMFIELD, Colo. –The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N2 & H5N8 in several different types of poultry flocks in eight states: Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Kansas, California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
 
“There are currently no cases of HPAI in Colorado. However, poultry producers and bird owners are encouraged to increase their disease prevention practices to help prevent the infection in our state,” said CDA’s State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “Wild birds appear to be the vector for HPAI infection of domestic poultry; therefore it is especially important to limit the exposure of poultry to wildlife, wildlife areas, or through people who may have had contact with both.”
 
Vaccines are not commonly used to control avian influenza virus outbreaks due to trade implications and because no vaccine covers all strains of the virus; disease prevention is the best way to prevent HPAI.
  • People should avoid contact with sick or dead poultry or wildlife.
  • If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.
  • Keep tools and equipment clean.
  • If you own poultry, do not have contact with other flocks or flock premises.
  • Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov.
 
As part of existing avian health programs and avian influenza response plans, federal and state partners are working jointly on disease surveillance and monitoring in Colorado including the Colorado State University (CSU) Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories. The United States has the strongest avian influenza surveillance program in the world to actively look for the disease in commercial poultry operations, live bird markets, backyard flocks, and in migratory wild bird populations. HPAI virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick.
 
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers the risk to people and our food supply from the HPAI H5 infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.
 
All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths:
  • If you have sick birds or birds that have died from unknown causes, help is available at the Colorado Avian Health Call Line at CSU at 970-297-4008. Dead birds may be submitted to the CSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories in Fort Collins for free HPAI testing at (970) 297-4008 or (970) 297-1281; http://dlab.colostate.edu.
  • To report multiple sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state or federal officials, contact either the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office at (303) 869-9130 or USDA at (303) 231-5385.
 
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