Hunters, people who handle birds warned after avian flu detected

A wild duck killed by a hunter in Colleton County is the first wild bird since 2016 to be found infected in the United States with highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, the US Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday. of avian disease H5 was found in a Wigeon and was tested by the Clemson University Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Columbia. and the diagnosis was confirmed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. PREVIOUS: Experts warn SC chicken owners to step up biosecurity. This type of HPAI virus is considered low risk to people, but it can be a hazard to the poultry industry, which is an important part of South Carolina’s agricultural economy. “We ask that anyone involved in poultry or egg production, from large farms to backyard flocks, review their biosecurity practices to ensure the health of their birds,” said state veterinarian Michael J. Neault, who heads Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, which includes the Veterinary Diagnostic Center. He said. The USDA has alerted the World Organization for Animal Health, known as the OIE, of the discovery as required by international trade protocols. So far in 2022, Europe has kept itself busy with H5 cases or on its own, reporting scattered infections across the continent, from Portugal to Bulgaria, to the OIE. In December, Canada reported two separate cases in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Julie Helm, a veterinarian and poultry specialist at Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, advises South Carolinians to protect small flocks of poultry with two simple statements: “Keep it OUT and keep it CLEAN.” your poultry and pets away from wild ducks and geese and their environment: ponds, lakes and wetlands. Be careful not to trace wild waterfowl virus back to your flock if you are hunting or walking around wild waterfowl. Buy new birds from a reliable source. Keep new birds or returning exhibit birds separate from their established home flocks for 30 days. Keep pests (rodents, raccoons, opossums, rabbits) out of bird pens. Keep visitors out of your bird areas; What can they carry on their feet, clothes or vehicles? Keep it CLEAN: Clean cages and coops. Clean any equipment first before it arrives on your property. Wear designated farm shoes and clothing to care for your birds. Wash your hands before and after working with your birds. Change the bird’s food and water daily. Wash your vehicles and trailers after visiting other poultry facilities and before heading home – stop by a car wash. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk of HPAI H5 infections to the public to be low. No human infections with Eurasian H5 viruses have occurred in the United States. However, the USDA Wildlife and Veterinary Services advises hunters and others to take precautions to protect themselves and domestic birds they may encounter from the virus: Do not harvest or handle wild birds that are obviously sick or found dead. Dress your game birds in the field whenever possible. If you must dress the birds at home, clean them in an area that poultry and pets do not have access to. Keep a separate pair of shoes to wear only in the game cleanup area. If this is not possible, wear rubber footwear and clean/disinfect your shoes before entering or leaving the area. Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning up the game. Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning up game or cleaning bird feeders. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling game or cleaning bird feeders. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol wipes. Use dedicated tools for the cleaning game, whether in the field or at home. Don’t use those tools near your poultry or pets. Wash all tools and work surfaces with soap and water, then disinfect them. Avoid cross contamination. Keep raw game in a separate container, away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Cook game meat thoroughly; poultry must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill disease-causing organisms and parasites. Double bag of offal and feathers. Tie the inner bag; be sure to remove the rubber gloves and leave them in the outer bag before tying them closed. Place the bag in a trash can that is not accessible to poultry or pets. This trash can must also be protected from access by children, pets or other animals.

A wild duck killed by a hunter in Colleton County is the first wild bird since 2016 to be found infected in the United States with highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, the US Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday.

Officials said in a statement that the Eurasian avian disease type H5 was found in a Wigeon and tested by the Clemson University Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Columbia. and the diagnosis was confirmed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

PREVIOUS: Experts warn SC chicken owners to step up biosecurity

This type of HPAI virus is considered low risk to people, but can be a hazard to the poultry industry, which is an important part of South Carolina’s agricultural economy.

“We ask that anyone involved in poultry or egg production, from large farms to backyard flocks, review their biosecurity practices to ensure the health of their birds,” said state veterinarian Michael J. Neault, who heads Clemson Livestock. Poultry Health, which includes the Veterinary Diagnostic Center.

“So far we have no indication that HPAI has jumped from wild migratory birds to poultry and we would very much like to see it continue to do so,” Neault said.

The USDA has alerted the World Organization for Animal Health, known as the OIE, about the discovery as required by international trade protocols.

So far in 2022, Europe has been keeping busy with its own H5 cases, reporting scattered infections across the continent, from Portugal to Bulgaria, to the OIE. In December, Canada reported two separate cases in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Julie Helm, a veterinarian and poultry specialist at Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, advises South Carolinians to protect small flocks of poultry with two simple statements: “Keep ’em OUT and CLEAN.”

Keep it away: Keep your poultry and pets away from wild ducks and geese and their surroundings: ponds, lakes and marshy areas. Be careful not to trace wild waterfowl virus back to your flock if you are hunting or walking around wild waterfowl. Buy new birds from a reliable source. Keep new birds or returning exhibit birds separate from their established home flocks for 30 days. Keep pests (rodents, raccoons, opossums, rabbits) out of bird pens. Keep visitors out of your bird areas; What can they carry on their feet, clothes or vehicles?

Keep clean: Cleaning of cages and chicken coops. Clean any equipment first before it arrives on your property. Wear designated farm shoes and clothing to care for your birds. Wash your hands before and after working with your birds. Change the bird’s food and water daily. Wash your vehicles and trailers after visiting other poultry facilities and before heading home – stop by a car wash.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk of HPAI H5 infections to the public to be low. No human infections with Eurasian H5 viruses have occurred in the United States.

However, the USDA Wildlife and Veterinary Services advises hunters and others to take precautions to protect themselves and any domestic birds they may encounter from the virus:

  • Do not harvest or handle wild birds that are obviously sick or dead.
  • Dress your game birds in the field whenever possible. If you must dress the birds at home, clean them in an area that poultry and pets do not have access to.
  • Keep a separate pair of shoes to wear only in the game cleanup area. If this is not possible, wear rubber footwear and clean/disinfect your shoes before entering or leaving the area.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning up the game.
  • Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning up game or cleaning bird feeders.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling game or cleaning bird feeders. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol wipes.
  • Use dedicated tools for the cleaning game, whether in the field or at home. Don’t use those tools near your poultry or pets.
  • Wash all tools and work surfaces with soap and water, then disinfect them.
  • Avoid cross contamination. Keep raw game in a separate container, away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook game meat thoroughly; poultry must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill disease-causing organisms and parasites.
  • Double bag of offal and feathers. Tie the inner bag; be sure to remove the rubber gloves and leave them in the outer bag before closing it.

Place the bag in a trash can that is not accessible to poultry or pets. This trash can must also be protected from access by children, pets or other animals.

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