The Department of Agriculture and Markets shares your concern about the current outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza that has caused so much devastation in other states. The outbreak has been most severe in the Upper Midwest, especially in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Nebraska. To date, nearly 50 million birds have either died from this virus or will soon die. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state governments in the affected states struggle to contain the outbreak there, work is needed closer to home, too. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets has been working to build our level of preparedness should the virus come this way, and we've taken measures which we hope will reduce the overall risk for the state. We've enacted emergency regulations that require screening against avian influenza for incoming poultry and we have banned poultry exhibits at our county and state fairs for the 2015 season.
Efforts by government are not enough. Every poultry owner must be conscious of the threat of avian influenza and must take all reasonable efforts to protect his or her flock. We've prepared two fact sheets using information already available from a variety of experts on poultry health. The first sheet is a self-assessment you can use to raise the level of biosecurity on your farm. The second is aimed at visitors to your farm and provides very basic instructions for persons unfamiliar with farming and animal disease prevention. We hope you and others can use it to educate farm visitors and reduce their potential for spreading all types of avian disease, not just highly pathogenic avian influenza.
These fact sheets are available at www.agriculture.ny.gov.
Last updated November 21, 2016