Hunters, people who handle birds warned after avian flu detected

A wild duck harvested by a hunter in Colleton County is the first wild bird since 2016 to be found infected in the United States with highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday. Officials said in a statement that the Eurasian bird disease type H5 was found in an American Wigeon and was tested by the Clemson University Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Colombia. and the diagnosis was confirmed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.PREVIOUS: Experts warn SC chicken owners to step up biosecurityThis type of HPAI virus is considered a low risk to chickens people, but it can pose a hazard to the poultry industry, an important part of South Carolina’s agricultural economy. “We urge anyone involved in poultry or egg production, from large farms to backyard flocks, to review their biosecurity practices to ensure the health of their birds,” the veterinarian said. State Michael J. Neault, who directs Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, which includes the Veterinary Diagnostic Center. “So far, we have no indication that HPAI has moved from wild migratory birds to poultry and we would very much like to see that continue,” Neault said. USDA alerted the World Organization for Animal Health , known as the OIE, of the discovery as required by international trade protocols So far in 2022, Europe has been busy with H5 cases of themselves, reporting infections to the OIE scattered all over the continent, from Portugal to Bulgaria. In December, Canada reported two separate cases in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Julie Helm, veterinarian and poultry specialist at Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, advises people in South Carolina to protect small flocks of poultry with two simple statements: CLEAN. “Keep it away: keep your poultry and pets away from wild ducks and geese and their environment – ponds, lakes and marshy areas. Be careful not to trace the virus from wild waterfowl back to your flock if you hunt or hike in the wild waterfowl environment Purchase new birds from a trusted source Keep new birds or returning show birds separate from your established original flocks for 30 days Keep birds away pests (rodents, raccoons, opossums, rabbits) from bird enclosures Keep visitors out of your birding areas; what may they be carrying on their feet, clothing or vehicles? Clean any equipment first before it does not enter your property Wear shoes and farm clothing designated for caring for your birds Wash your hands before and after working with your birds Change daily especially food and water for the birds. Wash your vehicles and trailers after visiting other poultry facilities and before returning home – Use a car wash. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk of HPAI H5 infections to the public to be low. No human infections with Eurasian H5 viruses have occurred in the United States. Nevertheless, the USDA Veterinary and Wildlife Services recommends that hunters and others take precautions to protect themselves and any domestic birds they may encounter from the virus: are obviously sick or found dead. Dress your game birds in the field whenever possible. If you must dress birds at home, clean them in an area where your poultry and pet birds do not have access. Keep a separate pair of shoes to wear only in the cleaning area of ​​your game. If this is not possible, wear rubber shoes and clean/sanitize your shoes before entering or leaving the area. Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning game. Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning game or cleaning bird feeders. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling game or cleaning bird feeders. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol wipes. Use dedicated tools for cleaning game, whether in the field or at home. Do not use these tools around your poultry or pet birds. Wash all tools and work surfaces with soap and water, then disinfect them. Avoid cross contamination. Store uncooked game in a separate container away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods. Thoroughly cook the game meat; poultry must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill pathogenic organisms and parasites. Double bag the offal and feathers. Attach the inner bag; Be sure to remove your rubber gloves and leave them in the outer bag before closing it. Place the bag in a trash can that poultry and pet birds cannot access. This bin should also be secured against access by children, pets or other animals.

A wild duck harvested by a hunter in Colleton County is the first wild bird since 2016 to be found infected in the United States with highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Friday.

Officials said in a statement that the Eurasian avian disease type H5 was found in an American Wigeon and was tested by the Clemson University Veterinary Diagnostic Center in Colombia. and the diagnosis was confirmed by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

PREVIOUS: Experts warn SC chicken owners to step up biosecurity

This type of HPAI virus is considered a low risk to people, but it can pose a danger to the poultry industry, which is an important part of South Carolina’s agricultural economy.

“We urge anyone involved in poultry or egg production, from large farms to backyard flocks, to review their biosecurity practices to ensure the health of their birds,” the veterinarian said. State Michael J. Neault, who runs Clemson Livestock. Poultry Health, which includes the Veterinary Diagnostic Center.

“So far we have no indication that HPAI has moved from wild migratory birds to poultry and we would very much like to see that continue,” Neault said.

The USDA alerted the World Organization for Animal Health, known as the OIE, of the finding, as required by international trade protocols.

So far in 2022, Europe has been busy with its own cases of H5, reporting to the OIE of infections scattered across the continent, from Portugal to Bulgaria. In December, Canada reported two separate cases in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Julie Helm, veterinarian and poultry specialist at Clemson Livestock Poultry Health, advises people in South Carolina to protect small flocks of poultry with two simple statements: “Keep it AWAY and Keep it CLEAN.”

Keep it away: Keep your poultry and pets away from wild ducks and geese and their surroundings – ponds, lakes and marshy areas. Be careful not to trace wild waterfowl virus back to your herd if you hunt or hike in the wild waterfowl environment. Buy new birds from a reliable source. Keep new birds or returning show birds separate from your established original flocks for 30 days. Keep pests (rodents, raccoons, opossums, rabbits) away from bird enclosures. Keep visitors out of your birding areas; What can they carry on their feet, clothes or vehicles?

Keep it clean: Clean cages and chicken coops. Clean any equipment first before it enters your property. Wear designated farm shoes and clothing to care for your birds. Wash your hands before and after working with your birds. Change the birds’ food and water daily. Wash your vehicles and trailers after visiting other poultry facilities and before returning home — Go to a car wash.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk of H5 HPAI infection to the public to be low. No human infections with the Eurasian H5 virus have occurred in the United States.

Nevertheless, the USDA Veterinary and Wildlife Services recommends that hunters and others take precautions to protect themselves and any domestic birds they may encounter from the virus:

  • Do not harvest or handle obviously sick or dead wild birds.
  • Dress your game birds in the field whenever possible. If you must dress birds at home, clean them in an area where your poultry and pet birds do not have access.
  • Keep a separate pair of shoes to wear only in the cleaning area of ​​your game. If this is not possible, wear rubber shoes and clean/sanitize your shoes before entering or leaving the area.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke while cleaning game.
  • Always wear rubber gloves when cleaning game or cleaning bird feeders.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling game or cleaning bird feeders. If soap and water are not available, use alcohol wipes.
  • Use dedicated tools for cleaning game, whether in the field or at home. Do not use these tools around your poultry or pet birds.
  • Wash all tools and work surfaces with soap and water, then disinfect them.
  • Avoid cross contamination. Store uncooked game in a separate container away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
  • Thoroughly cook the game meat; poultry must reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill pathogenic organisms and parasites.
  • Double bag the offal and feathers. Attach the inner bag; be sure to remove your rubber gloves and leave them in the outer bag before closing it.

Place the bag in a trash can that poultry and pet birds cannot access. This bin should also be secured against access by children, pets or other animals.

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