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Poultry owners advised to protect their flocks from songbird illness

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 5:04 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources are warning poultry owners about the risk to their flocks from the unknown Songbird illness.

Ohioans are encouraged to protect their chickens, ducks, and turkeys from any possible exposure to wild birds. The agencies are encouraging Ohioans not to feed wild birds and clean their bird feeders, especially if they’re noticing sick or dead birds nearby.

ODA and ODNR recommend keeping visitors to a minimum, washing your hands before and after contact with live poultry, and using boot covers or disinfecting boots after contact with their flocks. Poultry owners should also clean their feeders, waterers, and any other equipment. The agencies also encourage keeping the birds in a fenced space and contain them in a coop or barn.

Experts are still unsure what’s killing the songbirds.

“Prevention is the best strategy at this point,” said Dennis M. Summers, DVM, DACVPM, Interim-State Veterinarian for Ohio. “Maintain good biosecurity practices to reduce the risk to your flocks.”

Summers said it is critical for flock owners to keep an eye out for signs of illness and report any unusual illness.

Ohioans can report sick birds by calling a local veterinarian, the state veterinarian’s office, or the USDA sick bird reporting line at 1-866-536-7593.

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