The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) has released all quarantines on premises affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza earlier in 2015.

The department announced on August 11 that it has lifted the quarantines on the final six premises, including four in Barron County and two in Jefferson County.

Earlier quarantines that affected commercial poultry operations in Chippewa, Barron and Jefferson counties were lifted in July, while another quarantine that affected a backyard flock in Juneau County was lifted in June.

“We are happy that these producers can now restock their barns and resume business,” says Dr. Paul McGraw, Wisconsin State Veterinarian.  “But we are also still concerned that the disease may reappear in the fall months,” he says.

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When temperatures begin to drop and wild birds begin to migrate south for the winter, animal health officials fear that the virus may cause similar disease issues.  So, McGraw is reminding backyard poultry owners and commercial producers alike to continue with proper biosecurity measures to minimize the possibility of infection.

“Now is not the time to stop all the prevention techniques you’ve implemented, even though we’d like to all think that Wisconsin is completely free of the disease.  As long as the virus might still be in the environment, we need to stay focused on prevention,” McGraw said.

To minimize the impact on the poultry industry, McGraw warns all bird owners to cover all outdoor poultry feed or relocate it to covered storage, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths.