Third Avian Flu Outbreak in Washington State Poultry

WASHINGTON STATE, US - A third smallholder flock of poultry in the state has been culled following confirmation of infection with the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza virus.
calendar icon 21 January 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

A non-commercial 118-bird flock in Port Angeles, Washington, infected with highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza, was euthanised on 18 January, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

WSDA spokesman Hector Castro said the flock’s owner contacted the agency last week after a Sebastopol goose, a domestic species, died. Other birds, which included chickens, showed signs of sickness, he told Capital Press.

WSDA and US Department of Agriculture officials confirmed the previous week that the flock was infected with bird flu. The USDA will compensate the owner.

Mr Castro said the flock’s owner recently sold birds that were introduced to a flock in Neah Bay, also in Clallam county on the Olympic Peninsula. Birds in that flock tested negative for bird flu, he said.

The flock was the third in Washington to fall victim to highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu. The two other flocks, which are about nine miles apart in Benton County, remain under quarantine.

Officials suspect migratory waterfowl are spreading the disease. The virus has not been detected in the country's commercial flocks, but its appearance in backyard flocks has brought restrictions on US poultry exports.

The European Union has announced a ban on poultry products from Washington, Douglas County, Oregon, and Idaho. Japan and Belarus added Idaho to previous bans on poultry from Washington and Oregon. China announced that US poultry shipped to that country after 9 January will be rejected and destroyed.

Mr Castro added that WSDA plans to establish a quarantine zone around the premises where the Port Angeles flock lived.

He said WSDA and USDA officials have tested birds from 66 premises close to the infected flocks in Benton County. No new cases of bird flu have been found, he said.

The Capital Press report adds that officials are urging bird owners to prevent contact between their flocks and wild birds.

Further Reading

You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

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