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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Avian flu turns up in Idaho waterfowl, threatens backyard chicken flocks

A highly pathogenic strain of avian flu has been confirmed in wild waterfowl in western and southern Idaho, the state Department of Agriculture announced today, and has spread to falcons and backyard chickens. The department has initiated a multi-agency investigation. Wild ducks in Gooding County; three falcons from a private flock in Canyon County who had had recent contact with wild waterfowl; and backyard chickens in Canyon County all have tested positive.

This strain of avian flu has not caused any human illnesses anywhere in the world to date, nor has it infected commercial poultry operations in the United States, but officials are calling for cautionary biosecurity measures. “It is critical that backyard flock owners and poultry producers take every opportunity to prevent contact between domestic birds and the wild waterfowl that carry the avian influenza virus,” said Dr. Bill Barton, state veterinarian at the Department of Agriculture. There’s more info here; sick or dead wild birds should be reported to the Idaho Department of Fish & Game at 454-7638.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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