November 21, 2023
About 790,000 farmed birds in Oregon have been euthanized because of four new outbreaks of the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus that has been re-establishing itself throughout the West with the fall bird migration.
USDA officials confirmed the disease’s presence in two commercial poultry operations and two backyard flocks in Oregon last week. The commercial operations are in Linn and Marion counties, near Salem, while the backyard flocks are in Deschutes and Marion counties, respectively.
Oregon ag officials sought to reassure consumers that 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 and Prevention.
The outbreak in commercial operations triggered the second regional quarantine this fall in Oregon, where an earlier one was established after about 100 birds in Union County were found to be infected.
The quarantine prevents the movement of poultry and poultry products from within the affected area, giving state and federal officials time to conduct surveillance to ensure no additional cases of HPAI exist, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has explained.
New cases of HPAI have also been reported this fall in Colorado, Utah and Montana, signaling a return of the outbreak after a summer reprieve. Nationwide, the H5N1 outbreak has included nearly 800 confirmed detections affecting nearly 63 million birds in commercial and backyard flocks in 47 states since early 2022, according to the USDA.
This flu variant is spread from migratory waterfowl and infections in domestic poultry follow the spring and fall migrations, ag officials explain.
The officials advise commercial poultry farmers and backyard flock owners to be vigilant with biosecurity measures and surveillance. Reducing or eliminating contact between wild birds and domestic flocks is the best way to protect domestic birds from this disease.
Source: Oregon Department of Agriculture
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