WSDA to hold town hall meeting in Lynden on avian influenza

  |   Professional News, Uncategorized

The Washington State Dept. of Agriculture (WSDA) announced that there will be a town hall meeting Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 6pm to discuss avian influenza. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed today the presence of two separate strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds in Whatcom County. HPAI H5N2 was confirmed in a northern pintail duck and HPAI H5N8 was confirmed in a captive gyrfalcon that had been fed hunter-killed wild birds.

To date, no cases of avian influenza have been reported in the state’s domestic poultry population. State Veterinarian Dr. Joe Baker reports that it’s not uncommon for wild waterfowl to carry the virus, which can be deadly to poultry and other birds.

According to the WSDA, humans are rarely affected by avian influenza, although some cases have occurred in foreign countries where there has been close contact with infected birds.

It’s critical that poultry owners take steps to protect their birds. The WSDA town hall meeting, which is open to the public, will be held in the Mt. Baker Rotary Building at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden. Poultry producers or owners of backyard flocks are encouraged to attend.

To report sick domestic birds, contact the WSDA Avian Health Program at (800) 606-3056. Sick or dead wild birds should be reported to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (800) 606-8768. Concerns about sickness from suspected HPAI in you or your family, should be reported to Washington State Department of Health at (800) 525-0127.

For more information, read WSDA’s full press release.