Work Now to Prepare for Possible Avian Influenza Outbreak
Cooperative Extension is urging all poultry producers and owners of any size – including backyard flocks and show birds – to boost their biosecurity. Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is deadly for domestic poultry and can be easily transferred from migrating birds.
Moving birds into buildings or under shelters can reduce the risk of contact with wild birds and their droppings. Minimizing human contact with other birds can help prevent problems and monitoring flock health is critically important.
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is now requiring all poultry owners, regardless of the number of birds, to register for an NCFarmID number through the NCDA&CS. This tracking system is only for the purposes of animal health and will help alert poultry owners about an outbreak, especially owners in close proximity to a positive farm. An online small flock sign-up form is available as well as a printable form.
“In planning our response for highly pathogenic avian influenza, one problem we’ve come across is that we can’t protect birds that we don’t know exist,” said state veterinarian Meckes. “We need to know where poultry are located so we can properly protect commercial and backyard flocks.”
The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is also requiring any commercial poultry grower with 200 or more birds to submit a HPAI outbreak plan. A commercial grower would be any grower under contract with an integrated company.
Please contact this office or your local Extension staff to help you plan for worst case scenarios involving HPAI as well as best management practices for animal health and farm profitability and sustainability.