The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today announced that the November 10 order cancelling all live bird exhibitions at fairs and other gatherings of birds due to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has been lifted. The order also prohibited live birds from being sold or transferred at livestock auction markets, swap meets, and exotic sales.
It has been 30 days since the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed a new infection of HPAI in domestic poultry in Iowa. The last confirmed case of HPAI in Iowa was announced on December 12.
“Commercial poultry producers and those with backyard birds should continue to be vigilant with their biosecurity because this destructive disease still poses a serious ongoing risk,” said Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. “We are continually monitoring highly pathogenic avian influenza case counts worldwide and we remain ready to quickly respond should spring migration bring us another enhanced level of threat.”
Commercial and backyard flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. Sick birds or unusual deaths among birds should be immediately reported to state or federal officials. Biosecurity resources and best practices are available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship website. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately. Possible cases must also be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5305.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections in birds do not present a public health concern. It remains safe to eat poultry products. As a reminder, consumers should always utilize the proper handling and cooking of eggs and poultry products. An internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses.
HPAI is highly contagious viral disease affecting bird populations. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys. The virus can spread through droppings or the nasal discharge of an infected bird, which can contaminate dust and soil.
Signs of HPAI may include:
- Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs
- Lethargy and/or lack of energy and appetite
- Decrease in egg production
- Soft, thin-shelled and/or misshapen eggs
- Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks
- Purple/blue discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose)
- Stumbling and/or falling down
For additional information on HPAI, please visit the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website.