NDSU encourages poultry producers to ramp up biosecurity

The aim is to reduce transmission of HPAI
calendar icon 9 March 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

Following several outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), North Dakota State University is encouraging poultry producers to ramp up biosecurity. 

With millions of birds set to begin migrating this spring, now is the time for poultry and bird owners to ramp up biosecurity efforts, the university's news release said.

While the transmission rate from animals to humans is low, it is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be shared between species. There have been several detected cases in wild mammals, including two cases in red fox in North Dakota.

“One of the first clinical signs of HPAI is sudden, unexplained death,” said Dr. Gerald Stokka, North Dakota State University Extension veterinarian and livestock stewardship specialist. “Most HPAI cases are reporting a decline in water and feed consumption prior to the unexplained death.”

Decreased egg production and depression in layers may be another sign that birds are not feeling well. Purple or dry combs, being quieter than normal, frequent laying down and swelling around eyes are other symptoms birds may experience.

“The best way to reduce the potential for transmission of HPAI is to reduce interaction between wildlife and domestic flocks,” says Dr. Stokka. “Wild birds and mammals, such as foxes, coyotes and raccoons, are transmission vectors to your domestic flocks.”

NDSU Extension specialists have developed tips for reducing transmission of HPAI.

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