CITY OF JEFFERSON
To help prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), the Missouri Department of Agriculture has suspended all auctions, shows, and exchanges of waterfowl and domestic waterfowl eggs until the end of the May. Federal authorities have confirmed cases of HPAI in Stoddard, Bates, Jasper and Lawrence counties. HPAI is known to be fatal to domestic poultry.
The statewide suspension of auctions, shows and swap meets applies only to domestic waterfowl and waterfowl eggs. However, it does not apply to sales of day-old ducklings in feed stores. These ducklings are born into National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) flocks, which are voluntarily tested by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The suspension affects domestic waterfowl, in particular, as it is more likely to mix with migratory wild waterfowl carrying HPAI. Additionally, there is evidence that waterfowl are less likely to show signs of HPAI, which can lead to unintentional spread of the virus.
Besides, all poultry auctions, shows and swap meets are suspended in counties containing control zones or surveillance zones, determined by the Missouri Department of Agriculture, until the virus has been eradicated . Poultry can still be sold and displayed in unaffected counties, for now, with strict biosecurity measures.
“The Missouri Department of Agriculture is working hard to contain and eliminate the virus,” said Missouri State Veterinarian Steve Strubberg. “Restricting the mixing of domestic waterfowl is crucial to stopping the spread of bird flu in Missouri. And, as always, we encourage growers to tighten biosecurity protocols. »
Poultry producers should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or an unusual increase in deaths to the state veterinarian’s office at (573) 751-3377.
The suspension of the domestic waterfowl auction, display and swap meet will be reassessed at the end of May.
For more information on avian influenza in Missouri, visit agriculture.mo.gov/avian-influenza.php.