Poultry: Preparing for Avian Flu

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is expected to arrive in the Northeast this fall or next spring.  The Vermont State Veterinarian’s office strongly encourages all poultry owners to obtain a federal premises identification number.  This number will aid regulatory officials in providing information to owners pre-outbreak and assisting owners with disease control.  To obtain a unique ID number call: 802-828-2421.

Please take preventative measures to reduce the risk of this disease in our area and in your flock(s).  Of utmost importance:

  • Keep poultry away from wild birds, particularly waterfowl and shorebirds, and remove wild bird attractants from poultry housing areas.
  • If poultry are housed indoors, don’t let wild birds (or their fecal material) into barns.
  • Clean and disinfect all equipment prior to entry into a barn or poultry housing area.
  • Use barn-specific boots and coveralls, and consider using boot baths/washes.
  • Do not bring disease home with you – if you exhibit your poultry at fairs or swaps, do not share cages or equipment with other poultry owners.

All poultry owners, regardless of size and business structure, should familiarize themselves with signs of illness and call your veterinarian or the State Veterinarian’s Office if you see the following symptoms:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Discolored wattles or combs
  • Drop in egg production
  • Sudden death

Visit http://agriculture.vermont.gov/animal_health/avian_influenza_preparedness for more from Vermont State information.

Also, all Vermont poultry owners should read this letter from the state veterinarian: https://netforum.avectra.com/public/temp/ClientImages/VTVMA/f5cfffe2-8f1f-46f3-af79-a9fc52e218f3.pdf and complete the associated audit form: https://netforum.avectra.com/public/temp/ClientImages/VTVMA/7245f802-f2e8-45d0-b7e4-c1512d46b1a1.pdf

Call Dr. Johnson for further consultation on biosecurity measures or for hard copies of the above letter and audit form.  Dr. Johnson will gladly visit your farm and complete the audit form with you for a consultation fee.




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