Wild geese test positive for "highly pathogenic" bird flu - petsitterbank

Wild geese test positive for “highly pathogenic” bird flu

The Colorado Department of Agriculture and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) have confirmed the presence of the deadly and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild geese in Sedgwick County.

“HPAI is a highly contagious and fatal foreign animal disease in domestic poultry. Wild birds serve as a reservoir for influenza viruses and can spread these viruses to poultry. Certain strains of avian influenza are also zoonotic,” the Colorado Department of Agriculture said.

Six deceased ross and snow geese were collected at Jumbo Reservoir by CPW officers on March 17. The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory later confirmed the presence of the disease in the geese.

The department wants to remind flock owners to increase biosecurity, in order to protect their birds.

“Flock owners should review their biosecurity plans and implement practices such as limiting introduction of new birds into their flocks and limiting exposure of their birds to wild birds and other poultry flocks. People, equipment, vehicles, and other fomites can also serve as a mechanism for transmission of disease and need to be addressed in biosecurity plans,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin in a press release from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

The Denver Zoo made a statement on Friday, regarding their own plans to protect their avian species.

“Due to the risk this poses to the birds under our care at the Zoo, we are immediately moving our birds into safe indoor areas, and making other changes to our programming and experiences to ensure the animals’ health and safety for at least 28 days . Species that will not be in their outdoor habitats and viewable to our guests during this period include African penguins, Humboldt penguins, lorikeets, cassowaries, cinerous vultures, bald eagles, Andean condors, sarus cranes, ground hornbills and others,” the zoo said .

If you believe that your flock is experiencing an HPAI outbreak, contact immediately the State Veterinarian’s office at 303-869-9130.

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