The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing a fourth confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
Article continues below
The fourth farm, a small backyard mixed flock, is in Holt County. According to NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Roger Dudley, the farm has been quarantined and the birds will be humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved manner.
Additionally, NDA will be establishing a 6.2-mile surveillance zone, as is USDA policy, around the affected premises. A surveillance zone means poultry producers should be on heightened alert and practice biosecurity measures to protect their flock.
These producers should also know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately of sick or dying poultry.
HPAI is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily among birds through nasal and eye secretions, as well as manure.
The virus can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. Wild birds can carry the virus without becoming sick, while domesticated birds can become very sick.
Symptoms of HPAI in poultry include: a decrease in water consumption; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production or soft-shelled, misshapen eggs; nasal discharge,
sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. HPAI can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms.
HPAI can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) announced an order cancelling all poultry events across Nebraska due to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
The order prohibits birds of any type at events including but not limited to fairs, expositions, swap meets, exotic sales and live bird auctions. The order is effective immediately and will be in effect until May 1, at which time the order will be reevaluated. ■