Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

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Poultry Farms & Employee Relief Fund

The Farm Bureau Foundation of Sonoma County is committed to recovery and support for farms and families impacted by the current outbreak of Avian Flu in Sonoma County. This disaster in our ag community has affected several members, their businesses, employees, and families. Now more than ever, we want to be here for our ag community in these trying times.

FBFSC recently launched a Poultry Farms & Employee Relief Fund to support those impacted. If you want a place to give back, please consider donating to FBFSC. Your donation ensures that Sonoma County remains a diverse and thriving location for agriculture.

Contribute to the Fund here: https://bit.ly/poultryrelief

If you would like to contribute via check, contact the office at 707-544-5575 or mail a check to Farm Burea Foundation of Sonoma County, 3589 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403 with reference to the relief fund in the memo.

In the news

Avian Flu Quick Facts

  • Avian Influenza (AI) is a virus commonly found in some populations of wild waterfowl.
  • Historically, it has minimal health impacts on these wild carriers, but some strains, commonly called “highly pathogenic,” can be deadly to infected chickens, turkeys, and other domestic poultry.
  • The introduction of the Eurasian lineage strain of H5N1 avian influenza causes our current outbreak.
    • It was first detected in wild ducks in the US in January 2022 and has since spread across the country.
    • HPAI has been confirmed across 47 states since 2022 and has re-emerged in 26 states in the last 30 days.
    • As of 11/29/23, 67.74 M birds have been affected in 396 commercial flocks and 571 backyard flocks.
  • The current outbreak is a poultry health issue, not a human health issue.
    • The CDC states, “…the current risk to the public from HPAI (H5N1) viruses remains low.”
    • In an abundance of caution, the CDC and state and local public health departments have been and will continue monitoring all people with close contact with test-positive flocks.

The three most important things poultry owners can do to protect their flock and their neighbors’ and friends’ flocks

  1. Know your biosecurity
    • Clean or dedicate shoes and clothing; Wash hands
    • Prevent/limit visitors – people, predators, rodents, wild birds
    • Fence off bird area – keep people out who do not need to enter
    • Bring birds into an enclosed area that’s covered
    • Keep feed covered and spills cleaned up
    • Think about what your dog or cat may track home and take precautions – i.e., keep out of bird areas if they may be exposed to positive wild birds.
    • Consider draining bodies of water such as ponds or ditches – wild birds like to congregate at water sources. Clean and disinfect equipment and other supplies between uses, and do not share
  2. Know the signs in poultry
    • Sudden death
    • Trouble breathing
    • Lethargy or lack of energy
    • Eating and drinking less
    • Swollen eyes, head, wattles, or combs
    • Discolored or bruised comb, wattles, or legs
    • Stumbling or falling
    • Twisted neck
  3. Know who to call
    • Report any unusual or suspicious number of sick or dead domestic birds to the CDFA Sick Bird Hotline 866-922-2473 or to your local CDFA Animal Health Office. You may also submit mortality to the Animal Health and Food Safety Lab.

Additional Resources

Report any unusual or suspicious dead wild birds to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife online at www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Health/ Monitoring/Mortality-Report.

Stay Informed: For the latest updates on California domestic poultry, follow CDFA on social media and subscribe. You can find them on Facebook at Animal Health Branch – CDFA and on Instagram at AnimalHealthBranch_CDFA.

For more information and updates on wild bird detections in California, visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

For public inquiries regarding highly pathogenic avian influenza in California, please call 916-217-7517 or e-mail cdfa.HPAIinfo@cdfa.ca.gov. For media inquiries, please call 916-654-0462 or send an e-mail to OfficeOfPublicAffairs@cdfa.ca.gov.