Bird Flu Blog
Updates About High Path Avian Influenza in Maryland
December 27, 2018
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Increased surveillance and further testing for avian influenza have confirmed no signs of the disease following inconclusive screening results from a Wicomico County commercial poultry flock during the week of December 10. Additional testing from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed negative test results for the suspect flock and screening of nearby farms were also all negative.
Out of an abundance of caution following the inconclusive result, the decision was made to depopulate the suspect flock. Avian influenza is not a food safety or human health concern, but it is a very serious issue for the poultry business because of its impact on bird health.
“We are all relieved by the negative test result, and I am proud of the rapid and collaborative response to this event,” said Maryland Secretary of Agriculture Joe Bartenfelder. “This has demonstrated that our department is prepared to work with federal, state and industry partners to protect the chicken industry, which is a vital part of Delmarva’s economy.”
For more information on avian influenza, visit Maryland Department of Agriculture’s website.
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January 9, 2017
Poultry Entering State Must be Tested or Certified Healthy, Poultry Flocks Must Maintain Biosecurity
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. USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today detected the presence of the H5N2 strain of avian influenza in a wild mallard duck in Montana. There has been no detection of associated illness or mortality in domestic poultry, but this serves as a timely reminder of the continuing threat of HPAI in the United States. Read More
January 5, 2017
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture today announced animal health requirements for the 2017 fair and show season. Under the new regulations, all cattle and swine entering Maryland fairs and shows will be required to have a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. The new requirements also extend the previous Avian Influenza testing interval from 10 days to 21 days. Also, private sale of poultry will be allowed this year with a record of sale maintained by the fair or show operator for one year. Read More
December 13, 2016
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is calling for a renewed effort this winter by all poultry producers to intensify their biosecurity efforts. Recent High Path Avian Influenza outbreaks in Western Europe, Russia, Israel, India, Korea, and now Japan mean Maryland poultry growers, large and small, are at a much higher risk of seeing High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) destroy their flocks. Read More
July 8, 2016
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
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
January 15, 2016
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
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
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 mda.maryland.gov/avianflu 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.
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.