A statewide order prohibiting the movement of poultry to live events amid widespread bird flu outbreaks has been lifted, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said Monday.
The ban had been in effect since May to prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza. This strain of the bird flu, called EA H5N1, is deadly to captive and domesticated birds — such as those found in farms, zoos and in people’s homes — but is not as dangerous to the wild birds that are spreading it throughout the state.
Despite the order’s lift, DATCP said it encourages strong biosecurity practices including cleaning and disinfecting, restricting access by visitors and wild birds, as well as keeping separate shoes and clothes to wear around flocks.
Since March 22, 22 domestic flocks in 14 Wisconsin counties have been confirmed to have bird flue, and states continue to identify new infections at backyard and commercial farms, DATCP said.
What to watch for
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The state Department of Natural Resources asks residents to call if they see waterfowl, raptors such as eagles, or avian scavengers such as crows, ravens and gulls displaying tremors, circling movement or holding their heads in strange positions. Residents are also asked not to touch sick or dead birds.
To report birds with signs of avian flu, email DNRWildlifeSwitchboard@wi.gov or call 608-267-0866.
The DATCP is encouraging residents with their own flocks to call (608) 224-4872 during business hours or (800) 943-0003 after hours and on weekends if they spot signs of infected birds, which 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.
Runny nose, coughing, sneezing.
Stumbling or falling down.
Photos: Boaters navigate through Paddle and Portage