Threat To Poultry Producers

Threat To Poultry Producers

Threat To Poultry Producers

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Infectious Bursal Disease is a highly contagious disease of young chickens and has been around since it was first discovered in 1962. More virulent strains of IBDV, which have caused severe mortality in chickens, have emerged worldwide, and most recently here in Washington state. WSU's Dr. Tim Baszler explains.

BASZLER: It's a viral disease and the virus goes through genetic changes and some of the strains that come out from those recombination events end up being more virulent, or causing more death loss in a flock.

Baszler says that the strain recently discovered here in the state was first recognized in the U.S. in 2008 in California and is controllable.

BASZLER: They control it with vaccination and bio-security, like many poultry diseases. It's not something that's going to wipe out all the chickens - we just hadn't seen it in Washington before. They call these strains very virulent Infectious Bursal Disease Virus because, instead of having the normal 2% mortality rate that you might see with bursal disease in pullets, it's a disease of young chickens three to six weeks old - they might be more like 30% mortality.

Baszler says that this makes it an economic issue for poultry producers, but it is not a human health issue or food safety issue.

BASZLER: This virus is not egg transmitted. It's a disease of those young birds. It doesn't get into meat supplies. It is not a food safety or public health issue at all.

Tomorrow Baszler will talk about what poultry producers should do regarding bio-security and the virus.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray on the Ag Information Network.

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