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Poultry/bird events canceled to control spread of avian influenza

The board action prohibits the specified poultry/bird movements until further notice.

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BISMARCK – To protect North Dakota’s poultry industry from potential exposure to H5 avian influenza virus, the State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has canceled all shows, public sales, swaps and exhibitions of poultry and other birds within the state.

“The state board is taking this precaution to reduce the risk of avian influenza exposure to North Dakota birds,” State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress said. “Mixing birds could unnecessarily increase the risk of exposure.”

This board action prohibits the specified poultry/bird movements until further notice. BOAH is continuing to monitor and assess the disease threat, which will be reviewed at their June 1 quarterly meeting.

“Nationally, the outbreak has affected more than 13 million commercial and backyard birds in 17 states,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “Protecting our North Dakota producers, who raise approximately 1 million commercial birds yearly, and our many backyard bird owners is high priority.”

Poultry owners should immediately report unusual death loss, a drop in egg production or sick birds to their local veterinarian to decrease the impact HPAI may have on the region. Remember to restrict access to property, keep wild birds away from owned birds and practice enhanced biosecurity. Hunters who are also bird owners should dress game birds in the field whenever possible and use dedicated footwear and tools to clean game.

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Andress said anyone bringing birds into North Dakota should contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Division at 701-328-2655 to ensure they are meeting all importation requirements.

More information about avian influenza and biosecurity is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/disease/avian-influenza and from the USDA-APHIS at www.aphis.usda.gov .

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