APHIS urging poultry producers to “Defend the Flock”

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is encouraging poultry producers to stay vigilant as animal disease threats circulate the globe.

APHIS assistant director for poultry health Dr. Julie Gauthier says excellent biosecurity needs to be practiced every day.

“Every day, every time, you should be practicing good biosecurity and preventing infections like avian influenza from being introduced to our flocks.”

Earlier this month, China reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu.

Dr. Gauthier tells Brownfield spring migration is beginning and points out wild birds are the main poultry disease source in North America.

“So it might start off with a virus carried by a wild bird and somehow enters the domestic flock. From there, if we don’t practice good biosecurity it can spread quite easily from flock to flock.”

She describes excellent biosecurity as a collection of good habits that anyone can practice, and she says online resources can be found by searching “Defend the Flock.”

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