Wisconsin DATCP confirms Bird Flu in Taylor County

This is the state’s first infected flock since Nov. 2022
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 5:53 PM CST
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MEDFORD, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has identified a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a backyard flock in Taylor County.

This is Wisconsin’s first confirmed case of HPAI in a domestic flock in 2023 and the state’s first infected flock since Nov. 7 last year. Over the past month, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota have announced new cases of HPAI in domestic flocks.

Flock owners are encouraged to practice strong biosecurity measures to protect their birds from the virus. This includes washing hands, disinfecting equipment, restricting access to birds, and separating new birds from existing flocks for at least 30 days.

Poultry owners are asked, when possible, to keep their birds indoors.HPAI viruses are highly contagious and often fatal to domestic poultry. The disease can be spread by contact with infected birds, commingling with wild birds or their droppings, equipment, or clothing worn by anyone working with the animals.

Signs of HPAI include:

  • 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

DATCP reminds Wisconsin poultry owners to register their premises. State law requires that all livestock owners register where their animals are kept. Registration helps animal health officials communicate with flock owners during disease outbreaks.

To report increased mortality or signs of illness among domestic birds, contact DATCP at 608-224-4872 during business hours or 800-943-0003 after hours and weekends. For updates on how the virus is affecting domestic birds in Wisconsin, visit DATCP’s HPAI webpage.