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HPAI reported in commercial poultry flocks across U.S.

Total number of birds affected has been increasing by approximately one million birds per week.

Krissa Welshans

November 22, 2023

2 Min Read
Photo credit: NPB

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed this week several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry operations all across the United States. Since the beginning of the month, total number of birds affected during the 2022-2023 outbreak has been increasing by approximately one million birds per week as cases continue to rise. The number now stands at 64.2 million birds nationwide.

Maryland Department of Agriculture reported its first case this week since 2022 in a commercial broiler operation of 198,200 birds in Caroline County. Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) also reported its first two cases in commercial operations this year. A flock of 675,000 broilers in Linn County and a flock of 123,500 broilers have been depopulated after confirming the virus.

Oregon State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz issued a regional quarantine around each commercial operation to prevent the movement of poultry and poultry products from within the affected area, giving state and federal staff time to conduct surveillance to ensure no additional cases of HPAI exist.

Commercial turkey operations continue to be significantly affected this fall, particularly in South Dakota. Just in the last week, seven commercial turkey operations in the state confirmed the virus, totaling nearly 280,000 birds. Minnesota also reported one turkey operation in Stearns County with 44,900 birds had contracted the virus.  

Meanwhile, California reported a commercial duck breeder with operation with 23,400 birds had tested positive for the virus.

Commercial poultry farmers and backyard flock owners are being urged to maintain vigilance through biosecurity measures and surveillance.

“It is important for commercial and backyard poultry operations to monitor their flocks’ health closely,” said Dr. Scholz. “The most recent cases of HPAI in Oregon reinforces the need to follow strict biosecurity measures, including keeping birds enclosed without access to wild birds or other domestic flocks.”

ODA said following strict biosecurity practices is key to preventing HPAI infection and recommended the following practices be added to routines:

  • Restrict access to property and keep birds away from other birds.

  • Keep a designated pair of shoes to wear around birds, wash clothing after visiting the birds, and use disinfectants correctly.

  • Clean and disinfect cages, poultry equipment, and car tires after visiting a farm store, poultry swap, or other location with birds present.

  • Keep new birds separate from flocks for 30 days; quarantine returning birds from the rest of flocks after visiting a poultry swap or other event.

  • Do not share equipment or supplies with others, but if unavoidable, disinfect it first.

  • Wash hands before and after bird handling.

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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