New York announces suspected case of avian influenza

Pheasants on a game farm impacted
calendar icon 24 March 2023
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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced a suspected outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus at Reynolds Game Farm affecting the farm's pheasant population on Wednesday. 

DEC began investigating suspicious deaths at the Game Farm on March 20, and initial test results indicate a possible outbreak of the H5N1 avian influenza virus. DEC is working closely with animal health experts at the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) and the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory to determine next steps at the farm.

HPAI has been circulating in wild birds in North America since early 2022, and has been previously confirmed in wild birds in Tompkins County, where Reynolds Game Farm is located.

The Game Farm employs rigorous biosecurity protocols, including fencing and overhead netting to prevent large birds like hawks, owls, ducks, geese, and gulls from getting into the pens. Staff also conduct regular disease surveillance. The pheasant flock at Reynolds is a USDA National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) certified flock. The NPIP is a State-Federal cooperative testing and certification program for poultry breeding flocks that includes surveillance for AI, pullorum disease, fowl typhoid, and other infectious diseases.

DEC said it will continue to work with partners at AGM and USDA in a swift and thorough response to the suspected outbreak.

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