Confirmed presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI)

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service have confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), also known as avian influenza, in a non-commercial backyard (non-poultry) flock in Orleans County this week. Samples taken by VAAFM and USDA officials on Monday were tested and confirmed for HPAI by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. This is the third instance of HPAI in a domestic flock in Vermont since spring of 2022 and emphasizes the ongoing need for vigilance as the disease continues to be an ongoing risk to domestic birds. The small flock of 40 birds suffered its first death Saturday, Dec. 2, and then experienced ongoing losses. The attending veterinarian contacted VAAFM to report the situation Monday afternoon. The remaining flock was quarantined to prevent the spread of disease and was depopulated Friday by officials from VAAFM and USDA, with the agreement and understanding of the flock’s owners. Currently, VAAFM has received no reports of illness in additional flocks.