Precautions recommended for poultry owners

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has notified Branch Hillsdale St. Joseph Community Health Agency of a case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in a backyard flock in Branch County.

MDARD and health agency officials are working with the poultry owner. The risk to humans is low, unless direct contact with sick or dead birds has been made.

MDARD and health agency officials encourage all poultry owners to implement proper biosecurity measures.

It is recommended poultry owners take a variety of precautions to protect their flocks, including preventing contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed; washing hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops; disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops; and not sharing equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.

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