HPAI infects three million Wisconsin laying hens

Wisconsin has its first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza since 2015.  The Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection confirms the disease was found in a Jefferson County laying hen facility.

Wisconsin State Veterinarian Dr. Darlene Konkle says a joint USDA and state incident response is underway. “There are nearly three million birds on this facility, which again is no movement on or off at this point.”

Konkle says labs are still working to narrow down which strain of the virus infected the Wisconsin flock. “It is an H5. We don’t have complete sequencing yet to know if it the exact same strain that has been circulating in other states. that is the assumption we are making so far.”

Konkle urges commercial and backyard flock owners to do what they can to tighten biosecurity measures, and they’re paying close attention to other commercial flocks near the infected area. “This owner, poultry owner also has a couple of flocks that are nearby within ten kilometers so given that they are all in the same system, we are looking at those closely.”

Ag Secretary Randy Romanski says incidents like this reinforce the benefits of premises identification as it helps with response to disease outbreaks.

HPAI was reported over the weekend in Illinois and Kansas, and was found in Iowa last week.

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