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 Ward County, North Dakota. The detection triggers the suspension of poultry/bird events in Ward and the adjoining counties of Renville, McHenry, McLean, Mountrail and Burke. Counties still under suspension from the Cass County finding at the end of August include Cass, Traill, Steele, Barnes, Ransom and Richland.
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.
A suspension means that effective immediately, comingling events such as poultry and bird shows, sales and swaps are prohibited in the affected county and adjoining counties. Producers in restricted counties cannot take birds to or from poultry events in any county. If no new cases emerge in 30 days, the suspension will be automatically lifted for that area. A map of counties currently included in the poultry/bird event suspension is available at www.nd.gov/ndda/hpai.
“The suspension of poultry/bird events is a precaution to reduce the risk of further spread of avian influenza to North Dakota birds,” State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress said.
There is no immediate public health concern due to this finding.
“Protecting poultry producers from this devastating disease while balancing the needs of commerce is the goal of county level poultry/bird event suspensions,” 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.