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Utah News

Additional case of bird flu confirmed at Cache Valley farm

Contained flock of chickens
Zoe Schaeffer
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Unsplash
Chickens

Bailee Woolstenhulme: "I'd like to clarify, I never stated that it was a commercial facility. It's a farm in Cache Valley that, unfortunately, had birds test positive for the Avian flu. And the state of Utah Department of Agriculture, our state veterinarian's office, along with USDA have been working with this farm to properly control the disease and make sure that the disease does not spread any further."

Unfortunately, that does mean that the birds do have to be depopulated, because that is the only way to control the spread of the disease. It is highly contagious, and so it spreads through the birds really quickly."

Sheri Quinn: "What does that mean for people with backyard chickens?"

Bailee Woolstenhulme: "So the the way that diseases spread is through migratory birds. And so any possible contact that your backyard flock can have with these birds, is an increased chance that they can catch the disease.

So what we're recommending is that those with outdoor flocks or free range bird flocks is that you try to keep them locked up, you keep their food and water sources away from where migratory birds can, can also access that just to, you know, avoid all possible situations of coming in contact."

Sheri Quinn: "How does this compare to when this has happened in the past is a historic event?"

Bailee Woolstenhulme: "We are one of 29 states to have it be present in our state. So we're one of the actually the last states to have this go through our state. So it's affecting everybody in the United States. And it's actually quite large, which is why you're seeing lack of eggs in your grocery store. And we'll probably see an impact on the chicken availability we have in our stores as well."

Sheri Quinn: "Is there anything else that is important to mention?"

Bailee Woolstenhulme: "We would just like everybody to know that our department is working extremely hard to make sure that this disease stays contained and that it does not spread any further."

For more information and guidance on how to protect animal and human health, visit USDA’s Defend the Flock website.