Vermonters who raise turkeys or chickens are asked to be on alert for a highly pathogenic avian influenza

Vermonters who raise turkeys or chickens are asked to be on alert for a highly pathogenic avian influenza after it was detected in some domestic flocks and wild birds in other states. The virus has been detected at two commercial turkey farms in southern Indiana, a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Kentucky and a backyard flock of mixed species birds in northern Virginia. In 2015, a widespread bird flu outbreak killed 50 million birds across 15 states and cost the federal government nearly $1 billion. The virus is often spread to domestic poultry by infected wild birds. U.S. surveillance efforts have identified the virus in wild birds in recent weeks in New Hampshire, Delaware, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida and South Carolina.  Bird owners should also prevent contact between their birds and wild birds and report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state or federal officials.