DIGHTON — Dighton Animal Control Officer Stacy Ferry announces that Avian Flu has been detected in Massachusetts, and offers community members important safety tips to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in wild birds in the state. As a result of this detection, all domestic poultry in Massachusetts may be at risk of exposure.
Avian Flu, also known as “bird flu,” is a common influenza strain that can spread from birds to humans through saliva, nasal secretion and feces. Waterbirds including shorebirds and waterfowl, especially dabbling ducks like mallards, are most likely to carry the virus.
While Avian Flu is not common among humans, it is very contagious among birds. This flu can be fatal for birds like chickens and turkeys.
If residents have a flock of chickens, please make sure that good biosecurity is being used to protect the flock. Flock owners and visitors may accidentally expose their flocks to HPAI through contaminated shoes, clothing, or equipment. Community members are also encouraged to keep wild waterbirds away from their flock.
Flock owners and visitors should also be mindful of accidental exposure of Avian Flu to their flocks through contaminated shoes, clothing, or equipment.
Community members are also encouraged to avoid unnecessary contact with birds if possible to prevent infection. Infections can happen if the virus gets into a person’s eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled.
“The Town of Dighton is monitoring the prevalence of Avian Flu throughout the state and is working to ensure that residents are cautious of their flock,” said Ferry. “Anyone with questions regarding the Avian Flu and their flock is encouraged to contact the Town directly.”
If you find a deceased bird in the Town of Dighton, please call Animal Control Officer Ferry at 774-644–8004.
If the bird is domestic, please call MDAR Animal Health at 617-626-1795, or use the online Poultry Disease Reporting Form. If the bird is wild, please call MDFG Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) at 508-389-6300.
For more information about Avian Flu, click here.