BARRON COUNTY -- Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been found in one backyard flock and six commercial flocks throughout Barron County. HPAI is a highly infectious disease that can cause sudden death in domestic birds and waterfowl.

“Avian influenza is very contagious in turkeys and chickens, but human infections are rare,'' said Laura Sauve, Public Health Director. “However, people should take extra steps to protect their birds and keep themselves and their family safe.”

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) reminds flock owners that there are movement restrictions and surveillance activities for premises that are within 10 kilometers of the infected site. If you are unsure whether your flock is within the control area, call DATCP’s avian influenza response line at (608) 224-5012 and leave a message with your name, address and premises ID, if available.

State law requires that all livestock owners register where their animals are kept, and registration helps animal health officials respond during disease outbreaks. There is no cost to register a flock. Learn more here.

To help keep your birds and your family safe, please follow these steps:

  • Wash your hands before and after coming in contact with birds
  • Disinfect equipment such as shoes, clothes, egg trays or flats, crates, vehicles, and tires
  • Limit the number of people that come in contact with your birds
  • Separate new birds from existing flocks for at least 30 days
  • When possible, keep your birds indoors
  • Do not hug or kiss your birds

If you recognize symptoms in your birds, call DATCP at (608) 224-4872. Call (800) 943-0003 during the evenings or on weekends. Symptoms of avian influenza include:

  • Sudden death without reason
  • No energy or not wanting to eat
  • Decrease in egg production; soft, misshapen eggs
  • Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose, coughing, sneezing
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea

If you find a sick or dead bird, don’t touch it and call to report it. Wild birds reports can be made to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-433-1610. For a full list of tips to keep you and your birds safe, and for more information on avian influenza, visit here.

Last Update: May 12, 2022 9:40 am CDT

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