Connecticut Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Issues 2023 Poultry Event Guidance
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) State Veterinarian does not recommend that organized poultry shows, sales, swaps, or events be held in 2023 due to the increased risk for introduction and transmission of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) through commingling events. However, the determination to postpone or cancel such events remains the decision of the local event organizers unless a quarantine, health order, or movement restriction is imposed.
According to U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 54 million birds have been depopulated across 47 states since the first HPAI case was documented in February 2022. Connecticut ranks first in New England for egg production and has had HPAI detections at two non-commercial backyard flocks in 2022. If shows and events take place, exhibitors should follow the 2023 Connecticut Fair and Show Requirements which includes the following for poultry:
Poultry originating within the state must come from healthy flocks with no evidence of infectious, contagious and/or communicable diseases. All birds must be inspected, identified, and be accompanied by written proof (Connecticut Flock Test card or Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory Report) that verifies that the breeding flock or the individual birds listed on the report were blood-test negative for Salmonella pullorum within 365 days of the show date. Concurrent Avian Influenza testing of the flock and/or individual birds is strongly recommended. Poultry vaccinated within 30 days with any live virus vaccine will be prohibited from showing. All cages, crates, or vehicles used for housing or transporting poultry must be cleaned and disinfected before and after each show. Doves, pigeons, and waterfowl are exempt from testing requirements, but must be identified by leg bands or wing tags.
All poultry must be identified and test negative for Salmonella pullorum within 12 months of the show date and be accompanied by this certificate. All poultry must comply with the Department of Agriculture Avian Influenza requirements by originating from AI-Free flocks or be tested for AI within 30 days of entry and have a certificate. No poultry from any areas of any state having Avian Influenza may enter Connecticut. Poultry vaccinated within 30 days with any live virus vaccine will be prohibited from showing. All cages, crates, and vehicles used for housing and transporting poultry must be cleaned and disinfected before and after each show. Doves, pigeons, and waterfowl are exempt from testing requirements, but must be identified by leg bands or wing tags.
The State Veterinarian’s office reminds exhibitors that all species attending fairs, shows, or exhibitions must originate from herds or flocks that meet the testing and health requirements of the State of Connecticut. State livestock inspectors may request proof of compliance with state requirements. No herd or flock under quarantine order shall move or be exhibited. All animals must have permanent identification (ear tag, tattoo, leg band, microchip plus a reader or EIA certificate). In addition, all out-of-state animals and birds (except horses) must have an exhibition permit number on the health certificates. Call 860-713-2504 or 860-713-2508 for a permit number. All out-of-state animals and birds offered for sale must meet Connecticut Importation Regulations.
Additionally, all poultry producers, from small backyard to large commercial operations, should review their biosecurity plans and take precautions to protect their birds. Poultry biosecurity materials and checklists can be found on the USDA’s “Defend the Flock” website.
Good biosecurity practices include washing hands with soap and water before and after coming in contact with live poultry, changing clothes before entering poultry areas and before exiting the property, and cleaning and disinfecting tools or equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility.
In addition to practicing good biosecurity, poultry owners should keep their birds away from wild ducks and geese and their droppings.
To report sick birds, unexplained high number of deaths, or sudden drop in egg production, please contact Connecticut State Veterinarian at 860-713-2505 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or the USDA at 866-536-7593.