790,000 Birds Euthanized

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) recently confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in two commercial poultry operations and two backyard flocks. The commercial operations are in Linn and Marion County. The backyard flocks are in Deschutes and Marion. Approximately 790,000 birds from the affected flocks were euthanized to prevent the spread of the disease and did not enter the food system. Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe. HPAI is also considered low risk to human health, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The confirmation at the two commercial poultry operations initiated a state-federal response between the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and USDA. ODA works closely with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on a joint incident response and action plan. State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz issued a regional quarantine around each commercial operation to prevent the movement of poultry and poultry products from within the affected area, giving state and federal staff time to conduct surveillance to ensure no additional cases of HPAI exist. The USDA tracks the number of cases nationwide and most recently reports 47 states have been affected by HPAI representing approximately 63 million birds nationwide.

For details on the quarantine area, ODA provides an online map. In addition to the map, the online tool allows people to enter their address to determine whether their property is included in the quarantine area. ODA will lift the quarantine as regional surveillance is complete.  

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus strains are extremely infectious, often fatal to chickens, and can spread rapidly from flock to flock. ODA continues to advise commercial poultry farmers and backyard flock owners to be vigilant with biosecurity measures and surveillance. Dr. Scholz says, “It is important for commercial and backyard poultry operations to monitor their flocks' health closely. The most recent cases of HPAI in Oregon reinforces the need to follow strict biosecurity measures, including keeping birds enclosed without access to wild birds or other domestic flocks.”

Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture

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