MDARD Encourages Pursuit of Biosecurity with Spring Chick Sales | News, Sports, Jobs

Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo Marketing director Ryan Bickel runs through shoe sanitizer as he enters a building at the Blank Park Zoo, Tuesday, April 5, in Des Moines, Iowa. Across North America, zoos are moving their birds indoors and away from people and wildlife as they try to protect them from the highly contagious and potentially deadly bird flu.

HOUGHTON – As highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to be a growing problem across the country, a statement released Tuesday by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) reported that at the Following an investigation, the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the presence of HPAI (commonly known as avian influenza) in a non-commercial backyard flock in Menominee County.

This is the third domestic bird detection in the state, the statement said, and the first in the Upper Peninsula. According to a Wednesday update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Menominee County report involved a “mixed backyard species (other than poultry)” flock numbering 62 birds.

With more and more residents of Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga and Ontonagon counties raising and keeping backyard flocks, it is important that they are aware of HPAI, even if it has not been detected. in any of these counties.

On March 11, MDARD released a statement that, with the sale of baby poultry (chicks, ducklings, etc.) this spring season, they are reminding people who purchase and care for these birds that following good biosecurity measures helps to keep their birds and themselves healthy. .

Biosecurity refers to a series of actions people can and should take to ensure that harmful germs are not transferred from them to their birds or from their birds to themselves, the statement said.

It is essential to practice strict biosecurity to ensure that viruses, such as HPAI, are not transmitted directly or indirectly to baby poultry.

HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in a variety of ways from flock to flock, including through wild birds, contact with infected poultry, equipment, and on the clothing and footwear of healers. Domestic birds are very susceptible to HPAI, causing high mortality losses in flocks. These losses can lead to significant economic impacts.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

However, the situation is different for another common pathogen also linked to live poultry, Salmonella. Salmonella, the MDARD said, is a bacteria found in poultry feces, which can cause illness in humans.

In 2021, the CDC reported outbreaks of Salmonella linked to backyard poultry, involving 1,135 people in 48 states. Even if the birds look healthy and clean, they can still carry Salmonella bacteria. and measures must be taken to prevent the disease.

Regardless of the type of germ, the species of poultry or the size of the flock, following these biosecurity measures is fundamental to protecting your health and that of your flock:

– Prevent contact between domestic poultry and wild birds by bringing poultry inside a poultry house or ensuring that their outdoor area is fully enclosed.

– Wash hands before and after handling birds and/or their eggs and when moving between different poultry houses.

– Disinfect boots and other equipment when moving between poultry houses.

– Do not share equipment or other supplies between co-ops or other farms.

– Clean and disinfect equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, throw it away.

– Use of well or municipal water as drinking water for the birds.

– Keep poultry feed secure so that there is no contact between feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

– Do not touch the birds to your face.

– Keep poultry away from areas where food or drink is prepared, served or stored.

– Monitor the flock for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption or an increase in sick birds.

– If avian flu is suspected, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after hours).

It is also recommended that you stay outdoors when cleaning any equipment associated with the raising or care of poultry, such as cages, feed, water tanks and other materials, MDARD. Then, store the cleaned equipment in an area inaccessible to wild birds or rodents before its next use.

“As part of your routine tasks”, MDARD suggests, “You may need to handle birds that may be infected with bird flu. You should take extra precautions; and when you respond, the following should be with you: “

– Combinations.

– Goggles or eye protection.

– Shoe covers or boots that can be disinfected.

– Gloves – latex, nitrile or rubber.

– If possible, a respirator (preferably a NIOSH N95 respirator/mask).

USDA Wednesday. The update shows commercial flocks of turkeys in Minnesota are currently being hit hard. In Swift County, for example, the virus was confirmed on Tuesday. in a commercial turkey flock of 145,000 birds, while on the same day the virus was also confirmed in a commercial turkey flock of 45,000 birds. At the same time, a Morrison County commercial laying hen operation with 214,277 birds had confirmation of the virus, as did another Morrison County operation with 43,285 broiler chickens.

The virus was confirmed Tuesday in Barron County, Wisconsin, in a commercial turkey flock numbering 52,000 birds.

More information on bird flu and how to protect flocks with biosecurity measures can be found on the US Department of Agriculture website. Also, more information on Salmonella and backyard flocks is available on the CDC’s website.

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