Maine Animal Health Officials Issue Advisory Regarding Poultry Swaps and Exhibitions In Response to Bird Flu Cases
April 22, 2022
For more information contact: Jim Britt at: Jim.Britt@maine.gov
Augusta - Today, due to multiple detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Maine and New England, Maine Animal Health Officials announced an advisory recommending cancellation or postponement of competitions, exhibitions, shows, swaps, or other in-person events encouraging the gathering or comingling of domestic fowl or poultry.
Advisory: The risk for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) remains high, and bird owners are advised to keep birds indoors to prevent the spread of this disease. The trends observed with past North American HPAI outbreaks are that we often see a reprieve in the summer months. This is because summer is when the virus present on the landscape (outdoors) is degraded by sunlight and heat. Animal Health Officials from the six New England States recommend that all competitions, exhibitions, shows, swaps, or other in-person events encouraging the gathering or comingling of domestic fowl or poultry be postponed until July 1, 2022 or later.
"The best way to prevent spread of HPAI from infected poultry to healthy poultry is to avoid unnecessary mixing of groups of domestic birds," said Maine State Veterinarian Dr. Michele Walsh. "With the risk of HPAI considered high in Maine, we are confident that a smart tactic to control the spread of HPAI is to recommend cancelling or postponing poultry events through July 1, 2022 and re-evaluating the HPAI threat to domestic poultry and pet birds at that time."
For a complete snapshot of HPAI in Maine, the state's response, a list of frequently asked questions, and additional HPAI resources, visit maine.gov/dacf/hpai
To report sick poultry or unusual domestic bird deaths, call the USDA's toll-free sick bird hotline at 1-866-536-7593.
To report a strange-acting or dead wild bird, call the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife at 207-287-8000.