January 30, 2024


Warning issued to US backyard poultry owners as bird flu detected in South Carolina


Animal health officials from Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina, have issued a cautionary alert to owners of backyard poultry flocks and pet waterfowl, after the Eurasian strain of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was detected among backyard flocks in Horry and Orangeburg counties, Fox Carolina reported.


Initial assessments suggest that wild waterfowl and the water bodies they inhabit may be carriers of the virus.


Owners of affected flocks in the mentioned counties have reported instances of illness, prompting swift action to depopulate surviving poultry and curb the potential spread of the virus. While commercial poultry operations in South Carolina have been safeguarded by biosecurity measures, private growers have felt the impact of these recent developments.


State veterinarian Michael Neault, who also serves as the Director of Clemson University Livestock-Poultry Health, emphasised the critical nature of biosecurity for backyard poultry owners.


Neault urged owners to prevent their birds from interacting with wild waterfowl or accessing water sources frequented by them. He said these precautions not only protect their birds from contracting the virus but also help keep the poultry industry, both large and small, safe.


-        Fox Carolina

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