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Avian flu: Prevention workshop for poultry owners Feb. 5

Jan 31st, 2015 | Category: News

MONROE – A free workshop about Avian Flu Prevention will take place Monday, Feb. 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Longhouse at Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. Available for poultry owners, the workshop is sponsored by Snohomish County, Snohomish Conservation District, WSU Snohomish County Extension, and Evergreen State Fairgrounds. Poultry owners will learn the steps necessary to keep your flock safe and early warning signs of the disease, which can affect all domestic poultry including chickens, ducks, and turkeys. Typical symptoms include respiratory issues, coughing or sneezing, lower egg production, decreased appetite and swelling on combs or waddles.

Special presentations by Dr. Amber Itle and Dr. Paul Kohrs, specialists with the Washington Dept. of Agriculture Animal Health Division, will cover information on protecting your flock from wild birds, proper biosecurity protocols, signs and symptoms to look for, and tips for monitoring and reporting any unusual behavior. Free registration is available at AvianFlu.BrownPaperTickets.com.

Backyard bird owners and commercial producers are urged to isolate birds from wild waterfowl and droppings and monitor their flock closely. Other recommendations include:  an enclosure with net covering the top to limit access by air if a building isn’t possible; wash hands, disinfect shoes, and change clothes before coming into contact with your own birds, when in contact with other birds or bird droppings; and limit access other people have to your birds.

A report of a sick or dead bird can be made to the WSDA Avian Health Program at (800) 606-3056 or to the USDA at (866) 536-7593. The WSDA is currently doing tests through its volunteer flock program (right).  To date, the disease has been found in wild birds in Whatcom and Clallam counties. (A previous meeting was held in December in Lyden for poultry owners.) For more information on the disease and its prevention, visit the WSDA website at http://agr.wa.gov For more information on the workshop, contact Bobbi Lindemulder, Snohomish Conservation District, at (425) 377-7003 or bobbi@snohomishcd.org.

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