SOUTHWEST, N.Y. — Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, a highly contagious, fatal, flu-like disease of poultry, has been spreading across the state since February. As of April 19, 2022, New York has seen the disease in 8 domestic flocks: One commercial, one captive wild birds, and the remainder were backyard flocks. Over 10,000 birds have died or have been euthanized. These positives started in the eastern region of the state but have moved westward over the spring season. Domestic bird positives have been confirmed in Dutchess, Fulton, Orleans, Monroe, Suffolk, and Ulster Counties. Wild bird positives have been identified in Cayuga, Seneca, Suffolk, and Wayne Counties. The most recent cases in domestic flocks in NYS were identified in the first week of April.
On March 25, 2022, Commissioner Ball and NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that the state would be proactively banning all live fowl shows and exhibitions to stop the potential spread of HPAI. This meant that fairs, public hatching events, fowl shows, and other events like them would not be allowed until further notice.
On Thursday, April 14th, the ban had been expanded to include all fowl auctions and other events where people can purchase, sell, swap, or trade fowl. The reasoning behind this update was the same as the original notice from March: to limit the congregation of poultry from different farms and homesteads to reduce the spread of disease. At this time, the ban does not include individual farms selling poultry, farm supply stores, chicks being shipped into the state from hatcheries, poultry processors that operate under a 5A or USDA Exemption, or live bird markets.
While both bans are in place until further notice, the situation will be re-evaluated at the end of May.
In the meantime, it’s important that poultry owners remain on high alert for any unusual illness or deaths in their poultry flocks. Symptoms including death without an apparent cause; lack of energy or appetite; a sudden drop in egg production or an increased number of eggs with malformed shells; swelling of the head, comb, eyelids, wattles, and hocks; purple discoloration of the wattles, combs, and legs; nasal discharge, coughing, and sneezing; discoordination; and diarrhea can all be symptoms of the virus. Any suspicious illness can be reported to:
– NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets: 518-457-3502
– USDA (United States Department of Agriculture): 866-536-7593
– Your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Office
We understand that this is a challenging time, but together, we will get through it. If you are a flock owner or community member with questions, please reach out to your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office for assistance. Media inquiries can be directed to Cornell Cooperative Extension Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SWNYDLFC is a partnership between Cornell University and the CCE Associations of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Steuben counties. Their team includes Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management (716-640-0522); Camila Lage, Dairy Management (607-422-6788); and Amy Barkley, Livestock Management (716-640-0844). CCE is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.
For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension, contact your county’s Association Executive Director. Allegany County – Laura Hunsberger, email@example.com or 585-268-7644. Cattaraugus County – Dick Rivers, firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-699-2377. Chautauqua County – Emily Reynolds, email@example.com or 716-664-9502. Erie County – Diane Held, firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-652-5400. Steuben County – Tess McKinley, email@example.com, or 607-664-2301.
–Amy Barkley, Livestock and Beginning Farm Specialist
with the SWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program