Remind operators of biosecurity during “Bird Health Awareness Week”

As avian influenza wipes out flocks around the world, there is a growing concern of an outbreak here in the U.S.

So far, the highly pathogenic H5N8 strain has not been detected on our shores, but they could arrive through migratory birds. This week is “Bird Health Awareness Week” and the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says that the timing is significant. It is a good time to remind commercial and backyard poultry operators to take proper biosecurity measures.

According to Julie Gauthier, APHIS’s Assistant Director for Poultry Health, “We had the largest animal health emergency ever in the United States in 2017, starting in about December thru June 2015. There were more than 200, both commercial and backyard, flocks that were affected. There were across the country; over 50 million birds died in that outbreak.”

USDA had issued biosecurity guidelines for producers long before that outbreak. They include a checklist and social media campaign and a twice-a-year webinar.

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