By the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Division of Animal Health
This year, 23 poultry flocks throughout Wisconsin were confirmed with highly pathogenic avian influenza. While cases have slowed, Wisconsin is among the states that continue to see detections, meaning that poultry owners should remain vigilant and maintain strong biosecurity practices.
Interactions between wild waterfowl and domestic birds are thought to play a major role in HPAI transmission. Flocks located near bodies of water, or that commingle with wild birds, are at an increased risk of contracting HPAI. Due to continued HPAI detections in wild birds, the fall migration period, and recent cases in domestic flocks in the Midwest, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection asks that veterinarians remind poultry owners to take the following precautions:
• Maintain Enhanced Biosecurity Practices. Creating and adhering to a biosecurity plan can significantly reduce the risk of HPAI to domestic flocks. This includes simple practices like washing hands before and after handling poultry, utilizing designated clothing and footwear, cleaning and disinfecting equipment, and keeping new birds separate from existing flocks for 30 days. Poultry owners should work with their veterinarian to develop a biosecurity plan that reduces the risks for disease introduction into flocks. More information on creating a biosecurity plan can be found on DATCP’s HPAI webpage.
• Register Livestock Premises. Wisconsin law requires that all livestock owners register where their animals are kept—even if the flock consists of a single chicken—and registration helps animal health officials communicate with flock owners during disease outbreaks. There is no cost to register. To find more information, visit the DATCP website and search “premises registration.”
• Sign Up for Email Alerts. DATCP will send updates on new disease detections and offer helpful resources to keep flocks safe. To receive these notifications, visit the DATCP website and click “sign up for email updates” at the bottom of the homepage.
To report increased mortality or signs of illness among domestic birds, contact DATCP at 608-224-4872 (business hours) or 800-943-0003 (after hours and weekends). More information on HPAI can be found by visiting DATCP’s website at datcp.wi.gov.