(CTN News) – Bird Flu; A hunter-harvested blue-winged teal in southwest Louisiana was found to have Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), also known as bird flu by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
Although the Centers for Disease Control considers bird flu to be a low risk for public health, the LDWF recommends avoiding direct contact with infected birds.
It is imperative for hunters to be aware that equipment can transmit viruses.
Hunters should follow the following general safety guidelines:
Ensure that sick animals are not handled or eaten.
Dress and prepare game outdoors or in an area that is well ventilated.
You should wear rubber or disposable nitrile gloves when handling and cleaning game.
After handling game, ensure that your hands are thoroughly washed with soap or disinfectant. In addition, ensure that your knives, equipment, and surfaces that have been exposed to game are thoroughly cleaned with soapy water and 10% bleach.
While handling animals, refrain from eating, drinking, or consuming tobacco products.
Game should be cooked thoroughly to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is recommended that you avoid contact with surfaces that appear to be contaminated with bird feces, whether they are wild or domestic.
It is not recommended that hunters feed organs, viscera or carcasses to retrievers or leave carcasses for other wildlife to consume.
A pamphlet on added biosecurity measures is available HERE for hunters who hunt waterfowl and keep backyard poultry.
There have been HPAI outbreaks in 49 states affecting domestic poultry and wild birds. Approximately 48 million domestic birds and over 3,000 wild birds have died as a result of bird flu.
Although waterfowl may become ill and die from bird flu, many birds are carriers of the disease and do not exhibit any clinical symptoms.
Where is the bird flu outbreak?
On 17 October 2022 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 was confirmed at a premises near Mileham, Breckland, Norfolk. A 3km Protection Zone and 10km Surveillance Zone have been put in place around the premises.