October 25, 2023
At a Glance
- H5N1 currently detected in eight states
- Five simple measures can significantly reduce risk to flocks
Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 has been detected in poultry flocks in eight states over the past few months, most recently in Carter County, Oklahoma, about 300 miles from the Arkansas border.
In 2022-2023, the virus was confirmed in 47 states, the largest recorded outbreak of HPAI. Currently, it has been confirmed in North Dakota, South Dakota, Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Colorado and Oklahoma.
Dustan Clark, extension poultry health veterinarian for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said Tuesday the disease is present in wild waterfowl, and that the current fall migration poses risks to both commercial and small hobby flocks.
“It’s very important that commercial growers follow their integrators’ biosecurity protocols and report any problems to their service tech or company veterinarian,” Clark said.
Clark recommended five simple biosecurity measures to help keep small flocks in Arkansas safe:
Keep birds in pens covered with roofs or tarps to prevent exposure to wild bird feces/droppings and to keep poultry away from any pond or other water source that wild waterfowl may visit.
Keep facilities and equipment clean and in good repair. Change feed and water frequently.
Quarantine and isolate any new or sick birds from otherwise healthy poultry (minimum of three weeks).
Keep unnecessary visitors away and keep a record of all necessary visitors. Don’t let visitors come in contact with flocks. If you visit an area where there are waterfowl or poultry, do not visit your own poultry until you change clothes, shoes and wash your hands.
Recognize signs of illness in poultry and report unusual signs to your local veterinarian, local county extension agent, extension poultry veterinarian, state veterinarian, U.S. Department of Agriculture hotline (1-866-536-7593) or Arkansas AI hotline (501-823-1746).
“It is very important that we do all we can to assist in protecting our own flocks and our neighbors’ flocks,” Clark said.
Source: University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Read more about:Animal Health
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