Biosecurity Update - Avian Influenza
Jonathan Moyle, Poultry Specialist, University of Maryland Poultry Extension
NEWS RELEASE: Maryland Department of Agriculture
ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 23, 2015) – To do everything possible to mitigate the risk of High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) from infecting Maryland poultry flocks, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will prohibit poultry exhibitions at all fairs and show after Aug. 25. MDA has also issued a quarantine order requiring all hatching eggs and poultry entering from out of state to be tested within 10 days or come fromcertified clean sources. This quarantine order will remain in effect until at least June 30, 2016.
“This strain of avian influenza could very well bring economic disaster to our largest agricultural
sector if we don’t take steps to protect the birds now,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe
Bartenfelder. “We have every reason to believe that HPAI will enter Maryland this fall, and we are making every effort to keep it out of our commercial chicken houses and backyard flocks. I strongly encourage all flock owners and managers to take this disease as seriously as they have ever taken anything and to practice enhanced biosecurity at all times.”
HPAI entered the Pacific Northwest of the United States in December 2014 and has been marching east ever since. It is carried by migratory waterfowl, such as ducks and geese, among others. To date, HPAI has been confirmed at 223 locations in 15 states and has impacted 48 million birds. The virus does not live in hot temperatures so incidents of HPAI have declined over the summer, but animal health experts expect cases to appear again during the fall migratory season, which starts in Maryland in early September.
HPAI is not known to threaten human health. It can, however, wipe out flocks of chickens in days. MDA encourages all flock owners of all sizes to exercise enhanced biosecurity measures and to be vigilant in ensuring others on their farms do so as well.
The prohibition on poultry exhibits will impact the Maryland State Fair as well as at least seven
other major fairs scheduled after August 25. Many poultry exhibits will be replaced with poultry
displays. MDA’s requirements for shows and fairs were revised in May. Those guidelines prohibited all waterfowl from being shown at fairs and shows, and required all poultry to be tested within ten days if they did not come from a clean or monitored flock.
Poultry auctions are not currently impacted by the order because MDA Animal Health officials are onsite at auctions, examining and testing birds. However, if HPAI is suspected in the region, poultry auctions will be closed down as well.
MDA has created a page on its website dedicated solely to HPAI information and news. It also
contains information on biosecurity measures flock owners should take to protect their birds. See: www.mda.maryland.gov/AvianFlu
For general information on Avian Influenza, visit the AI eXtension homepage:
Also visit the Avian Influenza Facebook page for recent developments and discussions on AI:
To track AI outbreaks in the U.S., go to: http://www.wattagnet.com
For AI biosecurity Moodle courses, go to:
http://campus.extension.org then click on
Create an eXtension username and password if you don’t have an eXtension account.
For AI Biosecurity for backyard flock owners and emergency responders, go to:
For AI biosecurity for youth and 4-H members, go to:
For the latest developments on the highly pathogenic AI (HPAI) H5N2 outbreaks in the U.S., go to:
For other helpful resources on AI, go to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=avian_influenza.html
Prepared By The University of Maryland Poultry Extension Team
Jonathan Moyle, Ph.D., Poultry Specialist
Nathanial L. Tablante, DVM, MPVM, MS, DACPV
Associate Professor and Extension Poultry Veterinarian
Jennifer L. Rhodes, Sr. Agent, Extension Educator
Nickolas G. Zimmerman, Ph.D., Animal & Avian Sciences