48,000 birds to be killed due to avian flu outbreak in Barron County

It’s the fourth flock in the state that has tested positive for the bird flu this year.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 4:14 PM CDT
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BARRON COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - An outbreak of avian flu in Barron County means that thousands of birds will have to be killed.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Saturday that the bird flu was detected in a commercial poultry flock on a Jennie-O turkey farm in Barron County.

As a result, 48,000 birds will be killed in an effort to limit the spread of the disease, which has been detected among four flocks in Wisconsin. On April 7, the DATCP issued an order suspending poultry shows and exhibits through May 31 and asked owners to use mitigation measures, including moving birds indoors.

The first detection of the bird flu in Wisconsin was in Jefferson County last month. Minnesota has also had several bird flu cases among commercial flocks, prompting the state legislature there to pass $1 million in emergency funding to help combat the virus.

Zoos and wildlife centers in Wisconsin are taking precautions, including limiting handlers of birds to animal care staff only.

Prices for eggs and poultry are rising as a result of the outbreak.

The DATCP asked bird owners to be on the lookout for these HPAI warning signs in their poultry:

  • Sudden death without clinical signs
  • Lack of energy or appetite
  • Decrease in egg production; soft, misshapen eggs
  • Purple discoloration of wattles, comb, and legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose, coughing, sneezing
  • Stumbling or falling down
  • Diarrhea

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