Bird flu virus confirmed at egg-laying facility in southeast Wisconsin

MADISON (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) announced on Monday, April 13th that it is implementing its plan for a coordinated response with the USDA, state health officials and industry partners following USDA confirmation that more than 180,000 chickens at an egg-laying facility in southeast Wisconsin are infected with H5N2 avian influenza virus. While lethal to birds, the strain of virus detected is not known to have caused disease in humans and is not expected to pose a risk to public health or the food supply.

The facility was immediately quarantined and neighboring properties with poultry will be notified about the situation.  The remaining chickens in the affected flock will be depopulated and will not enter the food supply.  Following USDA protocols, surveillance and testing procedures are underway at properties near the affected facilities to ensure the virus has not spread.

The following six steps are recommended for protecting birds from avian influenza:

    As a precaution, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is reaching out to monitor workers who may have been exposed to the virus.  DATCP has also been working with the USDA.

    The specimens were tested by a National Animal Health Laboratory Network member lab in Missouri and the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa confirmed the finding.

    More information about avian influenza is available on DATCP’s website at

    You can virtually join the DATCP in a Twitter chat to answer questions about avian influenza and promote the need for good biosecurity for commercial poultry producers, bird hobbyists and backyard poultry owners.

    Use the hashtag #chickenchat2015 to join the conversation on Twitter and follow @USDA_APHIS and @widatcp.

    The "chicken chat" is set for Thursday, April 16th from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.