Western Farmer-Stockman Logo

Producers urged to remain vigilant for signs of disease

T.J. Burnham 1, Editor, Western Farmer-Stockman

February 17, 2015

2 Min Read

Although the Washington State Department of Agriculture has lifted a quarantine that had been in place in a portion of Clallam County since Jan. 21 after an emergency rule was adopted to enact the quarantine and restrict the movement of eggs, poultry or poultry products in the zone, operators are urged to continue to watch for signs of disease.

WSDA has determined that the avian influenza detected in a backyard flock between Port Angeles and Sequim does not appear to have spread beyond the site.

To reach this conclusion, a team of veterinarians with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and WSDA visited nearly 2,000 locations in the quarantine area and tested samples from birds at 44 premises. All samples tested negative for avian influenza.

As a result of this action and lifting of the quarantine, there are no longer restrictions on the movement of poultry or poultry products within Clallam County.

Such restrictions remain in place in parts of Okanogan County, where two quarantines were established after two different flocks were found to be infected with the H5N2 avian influenza virus. Visit www.agr.wa.gov/LawsRules/Rulemaking for the complete rule and a map of these quarantine zones.

None of the viruses detected in Washington have been associated with human illnesses and there is no immediate public health concern. However, public health officials have contacted owners of identified infected flocks as a precaution.

Although the quarantine has been lifted, the risk of exposure to avian influenza still remains for poultry. Because migratory wild waterfowl populations can carry the disease, including the highly-pathogenic strains of avian influenza, WSDA continues to urge bird owners to protect their domestic birds from contact with wild waterfowl and remain vigilant in their biosecurity measures.

Avian influenza does not affect poultry meat or egg products, which remain safe to eat. As always, both wild and domestic poultry should be properly cooked.

Deaths or illness among domestic birds should be reported to the WSDA Avian Health Program at 1-800-606-3056. For wild birds, contact the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1-800-606-8768.

About the Author(s)

T.J. Burnham 1

Editor, Western Farmer-Stockman

T.J. Burnham has covered western agriculture for 42 years. A University of Michigan journalism program grad, he worked for The Sacramento Bee for 15 years before moving into specialty farm magazine writing. He has been on the Farm Progress staff for 10 years.

"A lot of my uncles back in Michigan were farmers, but my interest was primarily to become a hot shot city desk reporter. Once I was given a job at the Bee on the metro desk, they told me that they’d hired too many new reporters, and half of us had to go. However, they said there was an opening in the newspaper’s ag division, and if I worked there until the probationary period was over, I could be reassigned to general reporting. I took the job, but by the time the probation period was ended, I found I enjoyed covering ag so much that I never asked to go back to the city side.”

T.J. joined Farm Progress as a California Farmer reporter, then became editor of the Western Farmer-Stockman. He has earned a reputation in the West as a strong source of direct seed information, and has affiliated Western Farmer-Stockman as the official magazine of the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association.

His wife, Sally, writes for the magazine and helps with bookwork concerning freelance writers from the eight western state arena which the magazine serves.

T.J. likes hiking and fishing, and dabbles in woodworking projects. He also enjoys gardening and photography.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like