BISMARCK, N.D. – The North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial, backyard flock in Cass County, North Dakota. The detection triggers the suspension of poultry/bird events across the state. If no new cases emerge in 30 days, the suspension will be automatically lifted.
The State Board of Animal Health and the North Dakota Department of Agriculture are working closely with USDA-APHIS and local officials in the response. The premises has been quarantined and the flock is being depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flock will not enter the food system. Owners of domestic birds in a 10 km zone around the affected farm are being instructed to prevent contact between domestic poultry and wild birds and to monitor their flocks closely for illness to prevent the spread of HPAI.
“While we hoped there would not be additional cases this fall, due to the extensive involvement wild birds played in the spread of disease this year, we knew it was possible,” State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress said. “The suspension of poultry/bird events is a precaution to reduce the risk of further spread of avian influenza to North Dakota birds.”
There is no immediate public health concern due to this finding. The risk to people from HPAI is low despite the disease often being fatal for birds.
“As farmers take to the fields this fall, they should avoid contact with sick or deceased wild birds and change out of field clothes or boots when caring for their own poultry,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.
Avian influenza infects many species of wild birds and can be transmitted by direct contact with infected birds or contaminated food or water. Sick and dead wild birds should be reported to North Dakota Game and Fish at https://gf.nd.gov/wildlife/diseases/mortality-report.
More information about avian influenza is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/disease/avian-influenza and from the USDA-APHIS at www.aphis.usda.gov. Subsequent detections of HPAI in North Dakota will be posted on www.nd.gov/ndda/hpai.