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Bird Flu Blog

Updates About High Path Avian Influenza in Maryland

Click here for background information about HPAI.
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July 8, 2016

State Agriculture Department Renews High Path Avian Influenza Emergency Orders

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Secretary of Agriculture has extended Emergency Orders to prevent High Path Avian Influenza from infecting Maryland poultry flocks. These measures are in response to the continuing threat of an outbreak. The quarantine orders require all hatching eggs and poultry entering the state to be tested within 10 days or come from certified clean sources. Poultry markets must maintain records of all birds sold or purchased.  The quarantine orders also, all commercial poultry farms must meet basic biosecurity and sanitation practices, including: Read more.

January 28, 2016

Animal Health Requirements for 2016 Fair & Show Season Announced

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced that its health requirements for the 2016 fair and show season prohibit all poultry exhibitions prior to May 15. After that date, poultry-egg shows will be permitted for one-day only. All poultry – both in state and out of state – must be tested for avian flu within 10 days prior to entry or originate from a clean or monitored flock. Waterfowl, wildbird displays, poultry petting zoos, and private sales of poultry are also prohibited.  In addition, a new Maryland Certificate of Veterinary Inspection Form will replace both Interstate and Intrastate forms in Maryland. Read more.

January 21, 2016

Training for Bird Flu


Some 45 state, federal & local officials spent the day in Salisbury training to set up an Incident Command Post in preparation for for a bird flu outbreak on the Eastern Shore. State Veterinarian Dr. Michael Radebaugh (standing) leads a “hot wash” discussion after the exercise. Dr. Mark Remick from USDA-APHIS (blue shirt) answers questions from the federal prospective.

January 15, 2016

Bird Flu is Back – Flock Owners Need to Double Down on Biosecurity Now!

State Agriculture Department reaching out to flock owners to help them protect their birds

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is alerting all poultry owners and growers to double down on all biosecurity practices now that a highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) virus has been confirmed in a commercial turkey flock in Indiana.

“I have been saying that bird flu would return, and it was a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if,’” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “Avian flu is back and even though it is not yet in Maryland, that means ‘when’ is now.” Read more.

USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H7N8 Avian Influenza in a Commercial Turkey Flock in Dubois County, Indiana

WASHINGTON, January 15, 2016 — The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7N8 avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial turkey flock in Dubois County, Indiana. This is a different strain of HPAI than the strains that caused the 2015 outbreak.  There are no known cases of H7N8 infections in humans.  As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F kills bacteria and viruses, including HPAI. Read more.


January 7, 2016

High Path Avian Influenza Media Briefing

MDA officials brief the media on how Bird Flu  information will be released.

MDA officials brief the media on how Bird Flu information will be released.

Secretary Joe Bartenfelder, State Veterinarian Michael Radebaugh and Communications Director Julie Oberg briefed the media today about how information about High Path Avian Influenza will be released if there is ever a confirmed cased in Maryland. A copy of that briefing presentation are available on  the Bird Flu Press Kit. 

September 16, 2015

Note to Editors

In the event that a Maryland poultry operation has a confirmed case of HPAI, the Maryland Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce the arrival through a press release.

All editors and reporters who intend to cover HPAI issues are strongly encouraged to peruse the background information on our website at as well as the considerable information provided by USDA. (The links to USDA information are on our webpage.) Animal Health experts will likely be much too busy handling this emergency to conduct routine informational interviews. We encourage you to read this information and ask your background questions now.

During an incident, we will post updates on this blog.

MDA will also be active on social media, especially on Twitter. We have established a dedicated Twitter feed @MdBirdFlu for information about bird flu in Maryland. Our main Twitter account is @MdAgDept.


State Agriculture Leaders Urge Poultry Growers to Be on Guard for Deadly Bird Flu

ANNAPOLIS, MD (Sept. 16, 2015)–  September 23 is the first day of fall and the cooler temperatures mean Maryland poultry growers, large and small, are at a much higher risk of seeing High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) destroy their flocks. The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is urging all growers to ensure they are using the most stringent biosecurity measures possible to protect their birds. Read more.


Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Julie Oberg
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Vanessa Orlando
Public Information Officer - Digital Engagement
Telephone: 410-841-5889

Jason Schellhardt
Public Information Officer - Media Relations
Telephone: 410-841-5744

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