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Wisconsin detects HPAI in backyard flock
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 11/20/2023

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has confirmed the first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in Taylor County in 2023. This is the state's first infected flock since November 7, 2022.

The detection of HPAI in Wisconsin follows recent outbreaks in neighboring states, including Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota. DATCP is urging all poultry owners to implement strict biosecurity measures to safeguard their birds from the virus. These measures include:

• Washing hands thoroughly

• Disinfecting equipment regularly

• Restricting access to birds

• Isolating new birds from existing flocks for at least 30 days Poultry owners are also encouraged to keep their birds indoors whenever possible.

HPAI viruses are highly contagious and can be fatal to domestic poultry. The virus can spread through contact with infected birds, their droppings, contaminated equipment, or clothing worn by individuals working with the animals. Symptoms of HPAI include:

• Sudden death without prior signs of illness

• Lack of energy or appetite

• Reduced egg production and misshapen eggs

• Discoloration of wattles, combs, and legs

• Respiratory problems

• Runny nose, coughing, and sneezing

• Loss of balance

• Diarrhea

DATCP reminds Wisconsin poultry owners to register their premises. State law mandates that all livestock owners register the locations where their animals are kept. Registration facilitates communication between animal health officials and flock owners during disease outbreaks.

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