Is Bird Flu Coming to Central New York? US Livestock Catches the Bird Flu

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – The United States Department of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service is investigating the outbreak of the bird flu along with the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza. The difference is that the bird flu is making older cows sick and the avian flu is killing the poultry population.

While there are no confirmed cases yet here in Central New York, the USDA has confirmed cases in dairy cattle in Kansas, Texas, and New Mexico. However, the avian flu arose in 2016 with cases being found in almost every state.  The culprits of this disease are wild birds. When they get farther than the fencing or their tracks are brought in on a farm, this H5N1 strain can spread rapidly. Last week, goats contracted the disease. Marc Dresner, the Director of Integrated Communications at the American Egg Board, said what poultry farmers do when an outbreak occurs.

“These are measures taken on farms to prevent a disease,” Dresner said. “They are a priority for farmers every day not just during a disease outbreak. When a disease is confirmed, farmers increase their biosecurity measures to protect their flocks from possible exposure.”

Biosecurity is defined as ways farmers prevent and prevent their animals from getting sick. These routines include limiting visitors, cleaning equipment, truck washes, and an employee Danish entry to ensure cleanliness, according to Dresner.

However farmers don’t have control of egg prices as they are regulated by the market. Currently egg prices are still higher than average and the American Egg Board director said that’s because of Easter and following holidays. In comparison to last year, market prices are down 40%. One downtown sweets owner said those prices haven’t trickled down to affect her business yet.

“No, I haven’t seen any changes. So, I buy them in bulk usually at Costco,” Pemberton, the owner of Cathy’s Cookies, said. “I buy organic eggs and regular eggs, and I haven’t seen any changes, or at Wegmans either for their organic eggs.”

The FDA, CDC, and several state agencies are continuing to monitor the situation. Central New York has no reported cases of the bird flu and there is no direct threat for humans to catch the illness.

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