I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.
Earlier this week Kennewick backyard poultry owner Leslie Linderoth was host to six veterinarians representing Washington state, Oregon and the USDA who demonstrated what they, as part of the avian influenza response team, are doing in testing backyard poultry and waterfowl for the virus. Linderoth says she was more than happy to host the demonstration and have her birds tested, even though she lives outside the quarantine and surveillance zone around the two Benton City flocks where avian influenza was detected.
LINDEROTH: I'm very interested in educating the public and I have my birds checked regularly all the time anyway. Of course good biosecurity is always important no matter what's going on.
Linderoth says for now life will change for her 20 chickens, 10 ducks, three guinea hens, and two geese, which are normally free range on about ten acres.
LINDEROTH: They couldn't fit in my chicken house; I had too many to close inside, and that wouldn't be good for ventilation or health anyway. So now all my birds have become caged birds, and I separated my waterfowl out, instead of the mixed flock. I'm raising fodder in trays so I can continue giving them greens. I do have everything very much restricted on movement. You have to do that to protect everybody; you're not protecting anybody by refusing to have these guys come and see your birds or something, because this is a terrible disease and it will kill rapidly.
Testing will continue over the next week with samples being sent to WSU's Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab in Pullman. The virus has not been found in commercial poultry anywhere in the U.S. or Washington state.
That's Washington Ag Today.
I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.