Avian Influenza or "Bird Flu," has been making headlines around the world.
In January 2006, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) published a very informative and easy to read paper about the Avian Influenza virus and human pandemic concerns. Please take the time to read this publication.
ISDA has initiated a statewide surveillance program to monitor domestic (farmed) game birds and poultry in an effort to detect and prevent possible spread of Avian Influenza, should it occur in Idaho, including the Asian H5N1 subtype. The implementation of this surveillance program in Idaho will proactively allow ISDA to test for dangerous forms of Avian Influenza, on a voluntary basis, in domestic poultry and take necessary measures, along with our state and federal partner agencies, to safeguard the health of Idaho poultry, livestock, and public.
State Animal Health personnel will be closely monitoring poultry at state fairs, as well as commercial and backyard flocks, in an effort to prevent the potential spread of the virus.
Free testing for Avian Influenza is available through the ISDA for sick backyard poultry. If you have a sick bird and are interested in free testing for avian influenza, contact the nearest County Extension Office for a location where owners may obtain sick bird sampling kits. The test is performed at the ISDA Animal Health lab from swab samples you take and ship in the container provided. Shipping is pre-paid. Any person desiring additional information about Avian Influenza in backyard poultry may contact the ISDA Animal Health Lab at (208) 332-8570. For information concerning avian influenza or other diseases in wild birds, please contact your regional Idaho Department of Fish and Game office.
For additional information on this disease please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or the USDA's website on Avian Influenza.