The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on Saturday confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock (poultry) in Pitkin County.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.
The disease has a high mortality rate (nearly 100 percent) for domestic poultry and can be devastating to backyard chicken producers. Those who raise chickens should seek resources that can help educate them on the disease and bolster their biosecurity processes in order to help stop the spread, according to Drew Walters, agriculture specialist for Pitkin County Open Space and Trails.
Information and resources for HPAI:
- Suspected cases of this disease should be reported immediately to the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office (24-hour line): 303-869-9130
- For producers, monitoring and closing their flock to incoming birds, as well as increasing biosecurity measures is essential to stop the spread of this disease throughout the community. For more information on these measures, they can visit USDA’s Defend the Flock: USDA APHIS | Defend the Flock Program
- The Colorado Department of Agriculture has also temporarily suspended all poultry events.
Walters is available to take questions and direct people to appropriate resources. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text him at 970-230-1349.