Maryland Extends Bird Flu Emergency Orders

US - The Maryland Secretary of Agriculture has extended Emergency Orders to prevent highly pathogenic avian influenza from infecting Maryland poultry flocks, citing continued threats of an outbreak.
calendar icon 12 July 2016
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Ontario in Canada recently reported an outbreak of low pathogenic avian influenza.

The quarantine orders require all hatching eggs and poultry entering the state to be tested within 10 days or come from certified clean sources. Poultry markets must maintain records of all birds sold or purchased.

The quarantine orders also, all commercial poultry farms must meet basic biosecurity and sanitation practices, including:

  • Farms must have restricted access using a “Restricted Access” sign, gate or both;
  • Entry and exits to poultry growing areas must utilise footbaths, mats, boot washing stations, foot covers OR footwear change to prevent movement of contaminants into or out of the area;
  • Feed must be covered and secured to prevent wild birds, rodents or other animals from accessing feed; and
  • Poultry carcasses, used litter, or other disease containing organic materials must be covered and contained in a way to prevent animal access or movement of materials by wind.

Poultry exhibitions - including those with waterfowl - will now be allowed, but all poultry must be tested within 10 days of entry to an exhibition or originate from a certified clean flock.In the event of an outbreak, exhibitions or markets will be shut down.

This quarantine order will remain in effect from until at least the end of this year.

“This highly virulent strain of avian influenza could be an economic disaster for our largest agricultural sector if we don’t take steps to protect the birds,” said the state's Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder.

“We have every reason to believe that high path avian influenza will remain a threat for years to come, 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 very seriously and to practice enhanced biosecurity at all times.”

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