Avian Influenza Quarantine Put In Place
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture has now established a 20 mile quarantine zone for avian influenza that includes parts of Benton and Franklin counties. Ag Information Network’s Greg Martin has more.
MARTIN: Thanks Lacy. As we reported earlier this week the H5 avian influenza virus was identified in a backyard poultry flock near Benton City late last week after the owner reported the death of over 50 birds from the flock to the WSDA. A second Benton County backyard flock has now been identified as being infected, resulting in more than 700 birds having died or having been euthanized, prompting the quarantine put in to place by the WSDA, which prohibits the movement of eggs, poultry or poultry products out of the quarantined area - including the transportation of chickens, turkeys, waterfowl, pigeons, doves, and other domestic fowl. The quarantine will be in force for at least 240 days. WSDA is working closely with APHIS to now clean and disinfect the two sites.
With the biggest risk being that migratory wild waterfowl could spread the disease to other backyard flocks the USDA plans to increase the amount of testing of poultry and other domestic birds within an area identified as 10 kilometers around the two flocks. The virus has not been found in commercial poultry anywhere in Washington or the U.S. The WSDA reports that there is no immediate public health concern due to the avian influenza virus detected, and that poultry meat and egg products are not affected by the virus. Officials stress that biosecurity is especially important for backyard bird owners, advising them to protect their birds from contact with wild waterfowl and to be ever vigilant with biosecurity measures and surveillance.
That’s Washington Ag Today.
I’m Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.