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MADISON – To protect Wisconsin’s poultry industry from further spread of the H5N2 avian influenza virus, Dr. Paul McGraw, state veterinarian at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has issued a ban on poultry movement to shows, exhibitions and swap meets in Jefferson, Juneau or Barron counties.
“We are taking the necessary precautions to limit the spread of avian influenza throughout the state of Wisconsin,” McGraw said. Wisconsin has three confirmed cases of avian influenza in the state since the virus was first found in the Midwest in March. Multiple outbreaks of avian influenza have occurred most recently in Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, the Dakotas and Kansas leading to the depopulation of more than 1.5 million turkeys and chickens.
The ban prohibits any movement to, or participation in, any shows, exhibitions or swap meets held in the counties where H5N2 has already been found. Additionally, anyone owning a flock that is enrolled in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), a flock that qualifies as an affiliate flock under the NPIP, or a flock that is enrolled as a Wisconsin tested flock or associate flock are also prohibited from movement to shows, exhibitions or swap meets in the three counties.
“Gathering poultry together increases the chances of exposure to the virus,” McGraw says. “Returning the same poultry to their home farms increases the likelihood of spreading the disease.”
Commercial poultry producers, backyard flock owners and poultry exhibitioners are encouraged to use proper biosecurity methods, including restricting poultry exposure to wild birds, washing hands before and after handling poultry, using dedicated clothing and boots when working with poultry, and cleaning and disinfecting cages and equipment used with poultry.