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Avian flu found in local flock

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza confirmed in Taylor County flock

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has identified a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in Taylor County. This is Wisconsin’s first confirmed case of HPAI in a domestic flock in 2023. This is Wisconsin’s first infected flock since November 7, 2022.

The case involved five birds in a privately owned flock in Taylor County and a quarantine has been put in place.

Over the past month, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota have announced new cases of HPAI in domestic flocks. Flock owners are encouraged to practice strong biosecurity measures to protect their birds from the virus. This includes washing hands, disinfecting equipment, restricting access to birds, and separating new birds from existing flocks for at least 30 days. Poultry owners are asked, when possible, to keep their birds indoors.

HPAI viruses are highly contagious and often fatal to domestic poultry. The disease can be spread by contact with infected birds, commingling with wild birds or their droppings, equipment, or clothing worn by anyone working with the animals. Signs of HPAI include:

• Sudden death without clinical signs

• Lack of energy or appetite

• Decrease in egg production; soft, misshapen eggs

• Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs

• Difficulty breathing

• Runny nose, coughing, sneezing

• Stumbling or falling down

• Diarrhea To report increased mortality or signs of illness among domestic birds, contact DATCP at (608) 224-4872 (business hours) or (800) 943-0003 (after hours and weekends).