Bird owners across the country are being told to use extreme caution as a new strain of highly pathogenetic Avian Influenza continues to spread.
Dr. Scott Leibsle with the Idaho state Department of Agriculture says biosecurity is vital, from large poultry and egg operations down to those who have a few backyard chickens.
What is biosecurity? He said many of the steps are very similar to the advice we’ve heard over the past year years regarding coronavirus. That starts with keeping things clean. “You don’t want to introduce a disease into a livestock enclosure as best you can. So, maintaining biosecurity, washing your hands, and keeping your boots and clothes clean and using dedicated equipment that isn’t used elsewhere on your farm or your ranch is the best way to do that. And then disinfect the equipment and your clothes are you’re done using it.”
Leibsle says this strain of bird flu cannot be taken lightly. “You know, a diagnosis of high path AI is most likely going to have to result in the depopulation of the entire flock, it’s that lethal, and the likelihood of spreading the virus from one facility to the next is so high, that the land or the area that these animals are kept in will need to be kept barren or fallow for a period of time before you can repopulated it, and the soil may even need to be replaced.”
Leibsle added it’s important to keep wild birds out of your domestic flock. And it’s important hunters of wild fowl think of biosecurity when you return home.