In an effort to protect the Kansas poultry industry and to promote stronger biosecurity practices throughout the state, Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health has issued a stop movement order, signed by Secretary of Agriculture Jackie McClaskey, targeting Kansas poultry and live birds, effectively cancelling all poultry-related shows and events through calendar year 2015. This includes all types of poultry activities where birds from different flocks are co-mingled.
This will include, but is not limited to: regional and county fairs, festivals, the Kansas State Fair, swap meets, exotic sales and live bird auctions. This measure is being implemented in an effort to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (HPAI). Kansas experienced a positive case of HPAI in Leavenworth County in March 2015.
This decision was made after careful consideration and consultation with the K-State Research and Extension, Kansas 4-H, Kansas State Fair representatives and other poultry industry officials. Dr. Justin Smith, Deputy Animal Health Commissioner made the announcement. “The decision to issue movement restrictions regarding poultry and bird events has been made in an effort to protect the poultry industry in Kansas and the economic contribution that the industry makes to our agricultural economy. It is a difficult decision, as I know youth and adults would soon be exhibiting their projects at local fairs,” said Smith. “This decision was not made lightly, but it is necessary we do everything possible to protect the Kansas poultry flock.”
K-State Research and Extension and Kansas 4-H, along with the Kansas State Fair, is working to identify options for youth enrolled in poultry projects to showcase their learning and participate in fairs in ways other than having their birds present.
It is important that all poultry producers continue to monitor their flocks for symptoms of the virus, and notify KDA immediately if they suspect any problems. All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, should prevent contact between their birds and other birds including wild fowl. Wild birds carry the virus so it is going to be very difficult to stop the spread of it. So far it has only broken out by Leavenworth, but it can easily move around.
If you see sickness in birds, please contact KDA Division of Animal Health at (785) 564-6601 or email HPAI@kda.ks.gov. Additional information about HPAI can be found online at www.agriculture.ks.gov/avianinfluenza.
Photo credit: Kristine Paulus