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BIOSECURITY: Protecting Your Backyard Flock

Posted on August 25, 2023


Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been found in either wild water birds, domestic birds, or both along the east coast from Canada to Florida, including Massachusetts and other New England states. HPAI surveillance of domestic and wild birds in MA is ongoing.

All domestic poultry in Massachusetts may be at risk of exposure to HPAI.
Use good biosecurity to protect your birds and your facility against the virus.

Avian influenza can affect wild or domesticated birds. Most poultry, including chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, and game birds like pheasants, will die within days of exposure to HPAI. Wild and domestic ducks and some other species can be infected without ever becoming sick. Domestic poultry are exposed to HPAI through contact with infected birds, their droppings, or feathers. Pastures, yards, ponds, and equipment easily become contaminated with HPAI virus. Although no humans have become infected with HPAI virus in the US, humans can inadvertently move HPAI-contaminated material into contact with domestic birds through use of contaminated equipment, clothing and footwear, and vehicle tires. Practicing biosecurity means taking the steps necessary to reduce the chances of infectious disease being carried onto or off of your farm. The first step is to identify the ways to mitigate the greatest risks to your birds or farm from Avian Influenza.

The full document is available from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultral Resources.

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