Press Releases

Connecticut Department of Agriculture


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected In New Haven County Connecticut

(HARTFORDHighly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in a backyard flock in New Haven County on October 4, 2022. The backyard flock, consisting of turkeys, guinea fowl and chickens, were pets, not commercial poultry. Samples were sent to the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab (CVMDL) for testing. The results from CVMDL were then confirmed by the United States Department of AgricultureNational Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.


The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) advises all poultry owners and producers to remain vigilant in protecting their backyard and commercial poultry flocks against HPAI.


“Detections in backyard and commercial flocks are increasing around the U.S. and Canada,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Jane Lewis. “This comes as wild birds begin their annual migration south. It is imperative that anyone involved with poultry production review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds.”

State officials quarantined the affected premises, and per USDA policy the flock has been depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Federal and State partners are working jointly on additional surveillance and testing in areas around the affected flocks. Surveillance activities are being conducted in a 10-kilometer zone around the infected premises.

HPAI was confirmed at a backyard non-commercial flock in New London County in March 2022, however multiple detections have been confirmed within wild birds, primarily waterfowl and raptors.

Poultry biosecurity materials and checklists can be found on the USDA’s “Defend the Flock” website. Best practices include:

  • Discourage unnecessary visitors and use biosecurity signs to warn people not to enter buildings without permission.

  • Ask all visitors if they have had any contact with any birds in the past five days.

  • Forbid entry to employees and visitors who own any kind of fowl.

  • Require all visitors to cover and disinfect all footwear.

  • Lock all entrances to chicken houses after hours.

  • Avoid non-essential vehicular traffic on-farm.

  • After hauling birds to processors, clean and disinfect poultry transport coops and vehicles before they return to the farm.

  • Report anything unusual, especially sick or dead birds, to CT DoAg at 860-713-2505 or or the USDA at 866-536-7593.


In addition to practicing good biosecurity, poultry owners should keep their birds away from wild ducks and geese and their droppings. Outdoor access for poultry should be limited at this time.

Continued adherence to stringent protocols will ensure the safety and viability of Connecticut’s diverse poultry industry,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “Our state ranks first in New England for egg production and this serves as a reminder that we must all work together to protect our birds.”

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. Avian influenza does not present an immediate public health concern. Only one detection in a human has occurred in the United States, and the individual exhibited minor symptoms. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of165°Fkills 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




For Immediate Release:Thursday, October 6, 2022 Contact: Rebecca Eddy, 860-573-0323,