Avian Flu and What it Means to You

chickens

With the first positive case of Avian Flu in Wisconsin reported in Jefferson County by the news it is important to remember that the strain found, H5N2, is not contagious to people.  This appears to be an isolated case and state health officials, industry partners and the USDA have acted quickly to quarantine the flock and isolate then eliminate the disease.

For those with poultry what does the Avian Flu mean?  To help prevent the spread and keep your flock safe the Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection recommends:

  • Keep your distance—Restrict access to your property and keep your birds away from other birds.
  • Keep it clean—Wash your hands thoroughly before and after working with your birds. Clean and disinfect equipment.
  • Don’t haul disease home—Buy birds from reputable sources and keep new birds separated for at least 30 days.
  • Don’t borrow disease—Do not share equipment or supplies with neighbors or other bird owners. If you must borrow, disinfect it first.
  • Know the warning signs—Early detection can help prevent the spread of the disease. Check your birds frequently. If you find a sick or dead bird, don’t touch it.
  • Report sick birds—Don’t wait. If your birds are sick or dying, call DATCP at 1-800-572-8981.

There have not been any restrictions put into place on poultry projects for fairs in Wisconsin. Any changes or updates will be posted.

There have been no confirmed cases of any person conducting Avian Flu in Wisconsin, and there have been no reported cases of Avian Flu in the food supply.  Poultry products are safe to eat. Remember to fully cook your poultry products to an internal temperature of 165 degrees ensuring that you are following the proper food safety recommendation.

Contact your local Extension Agent with further questions at 608-757-5698 or email: nick.baker@ces.uwex.edu

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