(KFOR NEWS April 14, 2022) 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 sixth confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
The sixth farm, a flock of over 1.7 million laying hens, is in Dixon 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 control zone, as is USDA policy, around the affected premises. These producers should know the signs and symptoms of HPAI and notify NDA immediately of sick or dying poultry.
Dr. Dudley also announced the completion and release of the surveillance zones in Merrick and Holt counties and the completion and release of both the control and surveillance zones in Butler County.
Current Status of Impacted Farms
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, coughing, 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.
Poultry owners should report unusual poultry bird deaths or sick birds to NDA at 402-471-2351, or through USDA at 866-536-7593.
Enhanced biosecurity helps prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and diseases including HPAI. NDA and USDA have resources available to help poultry owners step up their biosecurity efforts.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk to people getting HPAI infections from birds is low. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.
All poultry entering Nebraska must be accompanied by a VS form 9-3 or Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI, or health certificate). If you are considering moving an animal into Nebraska from an affected state, please call 402-471-2351 to learn more. Nebraska poultry owners wanting to ship poultry out of state should consult the state veterinarians of the destination states for import requirements.
For more information about avian influenza, visit NDA’s website at https://nda.nebraska.gov/animal/avian/index.html or the USDA’s website https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at http://healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov
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