Mass. town warns residents about avian flu detection in state

Officials in the Massachusetts town of Dighton are warning residents who own domestic poultry to be aware that avian flu has been detected in the state.In an announcement on Tuesday, Dighton Animal Control Officer Stacy Ferry offered important safety tips to prevent the spread of the virus .The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has confirmed that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in wild birds in multiple locations in the state and appears to be prevalent in at least some species of the region’s wild bird population.According to the MDAR , this means all domestic poultry in Massachusetts may be at risk of exposure to the virus, which can be fatal for birds like chickens and turkeys.Avian flu, also known as bird flu, is a common influenza strain that can spread from birds to humans through saliva, naval secretion and faeces. The avian flu is not common among humans, but is very contagious among birds.Earlier this month, the owners of Pumpkin Wall Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, said about 80 of their birds were euthanized by state workers after five turkeys at the animal sanctuary suddenly died of the avian flu. Wild ducks carrying the virus landed in their pond and infected the flock, which meant the rest of the farm’s chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys then had to be put down.The MDAR said waterbirds including shorebirds and waterfowl, especially dabbling ducks like Mallards, are most likely to carry the HPAI virus.People who own chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl, and game birds like pheasants, are advised to keep waterbirds away from their domestic birds.Owners of domestic birds are also advised to ensure that good biosecurity is being used to protect the animals, as owners and visitors may accidentally expose their birds to HPAI through contaminated shoes, clothing or equipment.Click here for more biosecurity tips from the MDARFerry is encouraging Dighton residents to avoid any unnecessary contact with birds, if possible, to prevent infection.“The Town of Dighton is monitoring the prevalence of avian flu throughout the state and is working to ensure that residents are cautious of their flo ck,” Ferry said in a statement. “Anyone with questions regarding the avian flu and their flock is encouraged to contact the town directly (at 774-644-8004).The MDAR said sick or dead domestic birds — chickens, turkeys, gamebirds, domestic ducks, etc. — should be reported to the department’s Division of Animal Health at 617-626-1795 or through an online reporting form that can be accessed by clicking here.Sick or dead wild birds, however, should be reported to the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) by calling 508-389-6300 or by emailing Mass.Wildlife@mass.gov.

Officials in the Massachusetts town of Dighton are warning residents who own domestic poultry to be aware that avian flu has been detected in the state.

In an announcement on Tuesday, Dighton Animal Control Officer Stacy Ferry offered important safety tips to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources has confirmed that Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in wild birds in multiple locations in the state and appears to be prevalent in at least some species of the region’s wild bird population.

According to the MDAR, this means all domestic poultry in Massachusetts may be at risk of exposure to the virus, which can be fatal for birds like chickens and turkeys.

Avian flu, also known as bird flu, is a common influenza strain that can spread from birds to humans through saliva, naval secretion and feces. The avian flu is not common among humans, but is very contaminated among birds.

Earlier this month, the owners of Pumpkin Wall Farm in Derry, New Hampshire, said about 80 of their birds were euthanized by state workers after five turkeys at the animal sanctuary suddenly died of the avian flu. Wild ducks carrying the virus landed in their pond and infected the flock, which meant the rest of the farm’s chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys then had to be put down.

The MDAR said waterbirds including shorebirds and waterfowl, especially dabbling ducks like Mallards, are most likely to carry the HPAI virus.

People who own chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl, and game birds like pheasants, are advised to keep waterbirds away from their domestic birds.

Owners of domestic birds are also advised to ensure that good biosecurity is being used to protect the animals, as owners and visitors may accidentally expose their birds to HPAI through contaminated shoes, clothing or equipment.

Ferry is encouraging Dighton residents to avoid any unnecessary contact with birds, if possible, to prevent infection.

“The Town of Dighton is monitoring the prevalence of avian flu throughout the state and is working to ensure that residents are cautious of their flock,” Ferry said in a statement. “Anyone with questions regarding the avian flu and their flock is encouraged to contact the town directly (at 774-644-8004).

The MDAR said sick or dead domestic birds — chickens, turkeys, gamebirds, domestic ducks, etc. — should be reported to the department’s Division of Animal Health at 617-626-1795 or through an online reporting form that can be accessed by clicking here .

Sick or dead wild birds, however, should be reported to the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) by calling 508-389-6300 or by emailing Mass.Wildlife@mass.gov.

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