The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on February 25 lifted two avian influenza quarantines that had been in place in parts of Okanogan County, weeks after the emergency rules were first adopted to enact them and restrict the movement of eggs, poultry or poultry products in these restricted zones.

The first quarantine was established on January 29 in Riverside and the second was set February 2 in Oroville. WSDA has determined that the avian influenza detected in these two Okanogan County backyard flocks does not appear to have spread beyond those two sites. Both flocks were euthanized following the detection of the virus.

Veterinarians with the USDA and WSDA also visited numerous locations in the quarantine areas and tested samples from several birds at these sites. All samples tested negative for avian influenza.

As a result of these actions and lifting of the quarantines, there are no restrictions on the movement of poultry or poultry products anywhere in the state. All quarantines that have been established as part of WSDA’s response to earlier avian influenza detections have now been lifted, including previous quarantines in Clallam, Benton and Franklin counties.

None of the viruses detected in Washington have been associated with human illnesses and the virus has not been detected in any commercial poultry operations in Washington.

Although all quarantines within Washington have been lifted, the risk of exposure to avian influenza remains. Because migratory wild waterfowl can carry avian influenza, including highly-pathogenic avian influenza, WSDA continues to urge bird owners to protect their domestic birds from contact with wild waterfowl and remain vigilant in their biosecurity measures.