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Poultry Producers Need to be on High Alert

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In the last major outbreak of avian influenza in U.S. commercial poultry seven years ago, “Producers lost more than $1.6 billion and more than 50 million birds died or had to be culled,” says Dr. Juliana Lenoch, who coordinates USDA’s National Wildlife Disease Program.

She says now that the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus has been detected in wild migratory birds here in the US, “Now is the time for the poultry industry to double down on biosecurity.”

Dr. Jack Shere, who helps run the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, tells poultry producers what to look out for.

“It starts out, perhaps, with just simple malaise. The birds just don’t feel good. They’re quiet, more quiet than normal. They don’t eat as much. They may not drink as much water. These are all signs that things aren’t normal within the flock, and they need to be reported and they need to be looked into and perhaps the flock needs to be tested.”

Shere says bird flu can mimic other problems, but he says report everything regardless.

Source: USDA Radio Newsline