Connecticut Department of Agriculture Warns Poultry Producers of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
(STATEWIDE) Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) advises all poultry owners that United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) in Suffolk County, New York. This is in addition to other recent detections throughout the Atlantic Flyway which has affected commercial and backyard flocks in Nova Scotia, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia.
CT DoAg officials have been reaching out to poultry and egg farms across the state to ensure best practices are being implemented and will continue to do so as part of the state and federal surveillance program.
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 https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources
With the detection of avian influenza in a backyard flock on Long Island, Connecticut Department of Agriculture, Commissioner of Agriculture, Bryan P. Hurlburt said, “Now is the time for all poultry owners in Connecticut to take this risk seriously. Connecticut has a thriving commercial poultry industry and thousands of hobbyists who keep chickens, ducks, and other poultry. It is important that we do all we can to protect our birds.”
Action steps for backyard flocks include:
- Protect flocks from coming into contact with wild or migratory birds, bring your birds inside
- Restricting access to your property and your flock
- Clean and disinfect your clothes, shoes, equipment, and hands
- Don't haul disease home if you have been near other birds or bird owners
- Don't risk disease from your neighbor (do not borrow equipment and poultry supplies from other bird owners)
- Know the warning signs
- Report sick birds
As we get into warmer weather in late spring the risk should subside, but for now poultry should not be allowed outside to eliminate contact with wild birds, and especially wild waterfowl.
Signs of avian influenza include sudden increase in bird deaths, sneezing, coughing, nasal discharge, watery or green diarrhea, lack of energy, poor appetite, drop in egg production, swelling around the eyes, neck, and head, and purple discoloration of wattles, combs, and legs. To report sick birds, unexplained high number of deaths, or sudden drop in egg production, contact the State Veterinarian at 860-713-2505 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the USDA at 866-536-7593.
Avian influenza does not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses.
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture mission is to foster a healthy economic, environmental, and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage, and its contribution to the state's economy. For more information, visit www.CTGrown.gov.
For Immediate Release: Sunday, February 20, 2022
Contact: Rebecca Eddy, 860-573-0323, Rebecca.Eddy@ct.gov