FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 1, 2023
Contact: Neal Patten, Public Information Officer, (608) 440-0294, firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has identified a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial flock in Barron County.
DATCP and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working closely with animal health officials on a joint incident response. The affected premises will not move poultry products, and birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPAI does not present an immediate public health concern. HPAI also does not pose a food safety risk; properly handling and cooking poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills the virus.
DATCP continues to urge all poultry owners to implement strong biosecurity measures to protect their birds from the disease.
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
DATCP reminds Wisconsin poultry owners to register their premises. State law requires that all livestock owners register where their animals are kept. Registration helps animal health officials communicate with flock owners during disease outbreaks.
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). For updates on how the virus is affecting domestic birds in Wisconsin, visit DATCP's HPAI webpage.