Boston – Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in migratory water birds in New Hampshire, in addition to the Atlantic Flyway in Nova Scotia, Canada, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Maryland, It has recently been found in a commercial turkey flock in Nova Scotia, Canada and in Indiana. Commercial poultry, backyard poultry, and domestic waterfowl continue to be at risk of exposure to the virus due to its presence in migratory waterfowl. Infection within the wild bird population may contribute to introduction and spread of the disease to and among domestic birds.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is advising backyard and commercial poultry owners to practice strong biosecurity measures to prevent domestic poultry from having contact with wild birds. Specifically for birds trying to attain or maintain “Organic” certification, this may mean temporarily confining the birds inside a shelter to prevent or minimize contact with wild birds, their feathers and droppings.
This recommendation is in place for the next 90 days and will be reviewed at the end of that time period to determine if an extension is warranted.
Should you notice unusual signs of sickness in your flock, you should immediately contact your local veterinarian, MDAR at 617-626-1795, or USDA at 508-363-2290.
Protect your flock with excellent biosecurity. Your veterinarian can assist you in developing additional biosecurity protocols for your operation. Other excellent biosecurity resources include: poultrybiosecurity.org and www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian. You can also contact MDAR for assistance with questions at 617-626-1795.