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Avian Influenza / Poultry Health & Disease / Poultry Welfare
on February 16, 2015

Avian influenza hits 2nd commercial poultry farm in California

California officials confirm presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza at broiler and duck operation in Kings County

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in a commercial poultry operation that consists of broiler chickens and ducks in Kings County, California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) reported. The agency has not yet released any information concerning any companies that may be affiliated with the operation, which is the second commercial poultry farm in California to have a confirmed outbreak of avian influenza.

The flock experienced increased mortality, and samples were submitted to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory for testing. The samples were then sent to the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory for confirmation.

On February 12, the infection was confirmed as H5N8 avian influenza. According to a report on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) website, 114,000 birds were susceptible to the virus.

The first case of HPAI in a California commercial poultry flock was confirmed on January 24, when an H5N8 avian influenza outbreak occurred at a Foster Farms turkey operation in Stanislaus County.

CDFA and USDA have initiated an emergency disease response in connection with the Kings County outbreak. The infected premises and other commercial poultry farms in the control area have been placed under a state veterinarian quarantine. State and federal veterinarians will oversee depopulation of the remaining birds on the property in order to prevent the spread of the disease. Within the control area, movement of poultry and poultry products is prohibited unless under an official permit. Other movement such as vehicles or equipment will be monitored and require appropriate biosecurity measures.

Surveillance and outreach efforts are in effect and will continue over the next several weeks. Increased biosecurity and keeping birds housed away from open water sources that attract wild waterfowl is advised during this time.

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