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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Ionia County

Today, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Tim Boring announced additional detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in both a dairy herd and a backyard flock from Ionia County. The cases involve two separate premises, and U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed these detections.   

Regardless of species, biosecurity remains the best tool available to combat HPAI. On May 1, 2024, Director Boring issued the Determination of Extraordinary Emergency HPAI Risk Reduction and Response Order. In addition to other protocols, the order requires all dairy and commercial poultry operations in Michigan to adopt enhanced biosecurity measures, collectively reducing the risk of introducing this virus on to farms. On May 3, 2024, additional guidance was issued to help producers enact these requirements. The order went into effect on May 8, 2024. 

In addition to these requirements, wherever there are domestic animals, following a few key steps is fundamental to protecting their health and vitality: 

  • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed. 
  • Keep your animals away from other animals of unknown or suspect health status. 
  • Monitor the health of your animals daily. 
  • Contact your veterinarian if there are ever any animal health-related concerns or if you would like to develop a detailed biosecurity plan.  
  • Wash your hands before and after caring for your animals.  
  • Disinfect boots and other gear when moving between coops, barns, or pens. 
  • Sick animals should have dedicated equipment and be cared for after tending to healthy animals first. 
  • Clothing, footwear, and equipment worn/used around sick animals should not be worn/used around other animals until they are cleaned and disinfected. Use an EPA-registered disinfectant effective against avian influenza. 
  • Do not share tools, equipment, trailers, etc. with other premises. 
  • Limit non-essential visitors to your premises. 
  • Use well or municipal water as drinking water for domestic animals.  
  • Keep feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents. If individuals have recently been on a poultry farm, they should not visit a dairy operation, and vice versa.    

As part of the disease response for the dairy herd, MDARD is working with the herd's veterinarian to monitor the health of the animals and conduct trace investigations. As part of the disease response for the backyard poultry flock, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated. 

 MDARD continues diligently working with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of HPAI to mitigate the spread of the disease and provide outreach.