August 31, 2022 - MDARD Encourages Bird Owners to Continue Protecting Their Flocks from HPAI as Wild Birds Begin to Migrate
Poultry Farm 31 M Sprague Lr
Protect flocks from avian influenza by practicing good biosecurity. Take immediate action if you see unusual deaths or signs of illness in a flock.

In poultry, avian influenza viruses are referred to as either low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), depending on the severity of disease the virus causes in domestic poultry.

The emergence and spread of avian influenza viruses, both LPAI and HPAI, is closely linked to the movement of migratory waterfowl travel along flyways analogous to highways in the sky for birds. The flyways that cross the United States from north to south are the Pacific, Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic. Michigan is within the Central and Mississippi flyways.

The Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory assists state and federal agencies in disease investigations by providing testing for diseases such as avian influenza. We are working closely with the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to support and protect commercial poultry flocks across the state. Other poultry owners and caretakers should protect flocks from avian influenza by practicing good biosecurity and take immediate action if unusual deaths and/or signs of illness occur in a flock.

Sick or Dead Birds? Take Action!

  • Observe flocks for signs of illness. HPAI causes many birds to die at the same time and those remaining in the flock will appear sick. An individual bird coughing or sneezing is not a cause for worry.
  • Watch for unusual deaths (for example 2 to 3 dead birds out of a flock of 10), a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. Sick birds will be inactive, act sleepy, and quit eating.
  • If avian influenza is suspected, contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development immediately at 800.292.3939 (daytime) or 517.373.0440 (after-hours).

Protect Your Flocks

  • Keep birds inside the coop when waterfowl are migrating. Be aware though that Michigan has resident Canada geese flocks that do not migrate.
  • Always practice good biosecurity. Basically, biosecurity means keeping disease away from your flock by keeping the outside out and the inside in.
  • Have dedicated clothing and footwear to wear only when taking care of birds. At a minimum change shoes before entering the coop.
  • If owners hunt migratory waterfowl or golf, have someone else take care of the flock for a period of 72 hours.
  • For more information on protecting flocks with biosecurity measures, visit USDA’s Defend the Flock Program for tools, resources, and more.

    Confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Michigan

    November 10, 2022 - MDARD Urges All Michiganders to Continue Protecting Against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

    Immediate Release: November 10, 2022

    Sick Domestic Bird Calls: 800-292-3939

    MDARD Urges All Michiganders to Continue Protecting Against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

    Precautions are still needed to protect domestic flocks as wild birds complete their fall migration

    LANSING, MI – With an additional detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a Michigan domestic flock and more cases of the disease being found in neighboring states, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is urging Michiganders to continue to remain vigilant and actively take precautions to limit the spread of the virus—such as not feeding wild waterfowl and continuing to suspend their use of backyard bird feeders.

    Following an investigation by MDARD, the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory detected the presence of HPAI in a domestic poultry flock from Lapeer County. This case marks the third detection of HPAI in Lapeer County this year. The premises is currently under quarantine to protect other flocks in Michigan, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread. The flock contained approximately 530 birds of various species.

    “While there has not been a detection of HPAI in Michigan’s domestic birds since mid-October, this latest detection is evidence of how the virus continues to circulate in the environment and how there is still a risk for the virus as wild birds complete their fall migration,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “It is still vitally important for everyone to avoid attracting wild birds to their property—especially if they have a poultry flock. Keeping Michigan’s domestic birds healthy and safe remains a team effort.”

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people should properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for multiple sudden deaths in the flock, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through preventative measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    October 11, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Genesee County Backyard Flock

    For immediate release: October 11, 2022
    Sick domestic bird calls: 800-292-3939
    Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Genesee County Backyard Flock

    Bird owners must make the health of their domestic flocks a priority as wild birds continue to migrate

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Genesee County. This is the first detection in Genesee County. As wild birds complete their fall migration, bird owners still need to prioritize the health of their flocks by taking every preventative measure they can to protect them.

    “New detections of HPAI are being seen not only in Michigan but also across the nation. The risk for domestic flocks becoming infected with the virus will remain high as wild birds continue their fall migration,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “As wild birds travel and spread the virus, it is crucial for bird owners to prevent their birds from interacting with wild birds and being exposed to their germs. Actively taking steps to keep Michigan’s domestic birds safe and healthy needs to remain a top priority.”

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread. The flock contained approximately 25 chickens.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people should properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for multiple sudden deaths in the flock, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.


    October 6, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Lapeer County Backyard Flock

    For immediate release: October 6, 2022
    Sick domestic bird calls: 800-292-3939
    Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Lapeer County Backyard Flock

    Birds owners can help keep domestic flocks healthy by keeping them away from migrating wild birds

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard poultry flock from Lapeer County. This is the first detection in Lapeer County. As temperatures cool across the state, bird owners still need to take every preventative measure they can to protect their flocks from wild birds.

    “The cooler fall temperatures will not serve to lessen the threat or impact of HPAI,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Since the virus is susceptible to heat rather than cold, bird owners need to remain vigilant as wild birds complete their fall migration. Preventing more cases of HPAI begins with preventing domestic birds from intermingling with wild birds. Working to ensure the health of Michigan’s domestic birds is of utmost importance.”

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread. The flock contained approximately 100 birds.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people should properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for multiple sudden deaths in the flock, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    September 30, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Tuscola County Backyard Flock

    Immediate Release: September 30, 2022

    Sick Domestic Bird Calls: 800-292-3939

    Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Tuscola County Backyard Flock

    Keeping domestic flocks away from wild birds is fundamental to maintaining their health; HPAI will continue to spread as wild birds complete their fall migration

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard poultry flock from Tuscola County. This is the first detection in Tuscola County. To best keep domestic birds healthy and safe, owners need to take every step they can to prevent their flocks from being exposed to wild birds.

    “Most of the HPAI cases detected this year in Michigan’s backyard flocks have involved direct or indirect contact with wild birds,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Keeping domestic birds from intermingling with wild birds and away from open sources of water where wild birds might visit are some key preventative measures bird owners can take to ensure the health of their flock. Protecting Michigan’s domestic flocks is a collaborative effort.”

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread. The flock contained approximately 135 birds of various species.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people should properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for multiple sudden deaths in the flock, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    September 19, 2022 - MDARD Urges All Michiganders to Help Protect Against Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza this Fall

    For immediate release: September 19, 2022

    Sick domestic bird calls: 800-292-3939

    Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    Precautions are needed as wild birds continue to spread HPAI during their fall migration

    LANSING, MI – With a second detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a domestic flock during the fall migration season for wild birds, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is urging Michiganders to avoid feeding wild waterfowl, continue to suspend their use of backyard bird feeders, and take other precautions to limit the spread of the virus.

    Following an investigation by MDARD, the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory detected the presence of HPAI in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Macomb County. This case marks the third detection of HPAI in Macomb County this year. The premises is currently under quarantine to protect other flocks in Michigan, and the birds were depopulated to prevent disease spread. The flock contained approximately 40 birds of various species.

    “This newest detection is not unexpected as the virus is known to be carried by wild birds. However, this case does highlight the need for everyone to take steps to avoid attracting wild birds to their property—especially if they have a poultry flock,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Keeping domestic birds away from natural bodies of water, not feeding them next to wild birds, and preventing them from interacting with wild birds are all essential practices to ensure domestic birds can stay healthy and safe.”

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people should properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for multiple sudden deaths in the flock, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    September 13, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Ingham County Backyard Flock

    For immediate release: September 13, 2022

    Sick domestic bird calls: 800-292-3939

    Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    HPAI never left Michigan; Bird owners must remain vigilant—especially as wild birds continue their fall migration

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Ingham County. This is the first detection in Ingham County. Owners of domestic birds must maintain their vigilance and actively protect their flocks against the virus in every way they can.

    “While this newest detection is unfortunate, it is not unexpected. Even though Michigan has not had a case of HPAI in domestic birds since May, the disease was regularly being found in the state’s wildlife, indicating the virus is still present in the environment,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “As wild birds migrate and spread the virus this fall, it is vital for bird owners to take every step they can to protect their birds from being exposed to wild birds. Keeping HPAI out of Michigan’s domestic flocks remains a team effort.”

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread. The flock contained approximately 20 birds of various species.

    For this detection, MDARD will not reinstate a stop for poultry and waterfowl exhibitions. However, individual fair boards can determine what type of shows are/are not allowed for their respective fairs. Exhibitors are encouraged to contact their local fair managers to learn more about their fair’s protocols and requirements.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people should properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for multiple sudden deaths in the flock, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    May 12, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Confirmed in Three Red Fox Kits from Lapeer, Macomb and St. Clair Counties

    May 12, 2022

    Media contacts:

    For questions on wild birds or mammals: Eric Hilliard (DNR), 517-281-5607

    For questions on poultry or domestic birds: Jennifer Holton (MDARD), 517-284-5724

    The Michigan Department of Natural Resources received confirmation Wednesday evening that three red fox kits died from highly pathogenic avian influenza – the state’s first such confirmation of the HPAI virus in wild mammals. The fox kits, collected between April 1 and April 14, came from three separate dens in Lapeer, Macomb and St. Clair counties.

    The DNR had received a report from a wildlife rehabilitator in southeastern Michigan about the fox kits exhibiting neurologic signs of HPAI before death. The kits were observed circling, tremoring and seizing. Two of the three died within hours of intake, while one appeared to respond to supportive therapy but then died in care. Interestingly, an additional kit that was a sibling of the Macomb County kit did survive, but developed blindness, making her non-releasable. This kit will be housed at a local nature center.

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza is a virus known to affect birds throughout North America, with detections in backyard flocks and commercial poultry facilities, to date, in 34 states and detections in wild birds in 35 states. HPAI is highly contagious and poultry are especially vulnerable. In addition, this viral strain also affects waterfowl, raptors and scavengers (like turkey vultures, eagles and crows).

    In Michigan, HPAI has been confirmed in 69 wild birds, with the outbreak continuing to spread throughout North America. Follow the current status of HPAI in Michigan at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu and Avian influenza updates (Michigan.gov).

    The three fox kits were sampled for HPAI at the DNR Wildlife Disease Lab and submitted to the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. All three kits tested “non-negative” (presumptive positive) on May 6 and were confirmed positive by the National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa, on May 11. The virus was detected in swabs collected from the nose, mouth, throat and brain tissue of all three kits, and a full postmortem examination was conducted to aid in learning more about this disease in foxes.

    The DNR Wildlife Division continues to collaborate with many partners within the state and across agencies to share findings.

    HPAI in red foxes outside Michigan

    These cases in Michigan are not the first confirmed detections of HPAI in red foxes:

    “HPAI H5N1 viruses may occasionally transmit from birds to mammals, as occurred in these cases, and there may be additional detections in other mammals during this outbreak, but they likely will be isolated cases,” said Megan Moriarty, the state wildlife veterinarian with the DNR. “At this point, it is unclear how the fox kits became infected, but it’s possible that they were exposed by consuming infected birds, such as waterfowl.”

    Reporting sick or dead wildlife

    Anyone who notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild birds or sick, dead or neurologically abnormal foxes is asked to report the information by:

    Moriarty encouraged the public to continue sharing such wildlife observations, even though the DNR will be unable to respond to every person submitting a report.

    “We greatly appreciate the effort to report instances of animals that are sick or appear to have unusual or unexplained deaths, because those tips often lead to important information,” said Moriarty. “Every bird or animal reported may not be tested for HPAI, but all observations are important.”

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza primarily affects birds, but it is important to remember that it can be a zoonotic disease (one that has the potential to be transmitted from domestic or wild animals to humans). According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with HPAI remains low, but advises people to avoid handling any sick or dead wild birds. If it is necessary to move a dead bird, use a plastic bag or shovel to do so and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.

    HPAI in domestic flocks

    Highly pathogenic avian influenza is highly contagious and can be spread to domestic flocks by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. Make sure domestic poultry (e.g., chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks raised for the production of meat or eggs) is separate from and has no contact with wild birds.

    The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development stated that no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled and cooked properly, with a safe cooking temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected, immediately contact MDARD at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after hours).

    For more on highly pathogenic avian influenza, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s HPAI webpage or the state of Michigan’s HPAI webpage at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    May 11, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Michigan’s First Commercial Poultry Flock

    For immediate release: May 11, 2022

    Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    HPAI does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly

    LANSING, MI – Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a commercial poultry facility in Muskegon County. This is the first detection of HPAI in a commercial poultry operation in Michigan.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds have been depopulated to prevent disease spread. These efforts also help to ensure the safety and integrity of the commercial food supply.

    “Before Michigan’s first detection of HPAI in backyard poultry in late February, MDARD has been preparing for all types of outbreak scenarios, including within a commercial setting, allowing the department to take swift action in partnership with the producer. The department has already identified a control area and surveillance zone to monitor for and prevent further spread of the virus,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “We will continue to ask every poultry owner, whether a backyard owner or commercial grower, to take preventative actions to help stop the spread of HPAI. It’s a team effort to defend the flocks in Michigan.”

    “Michigan’s family poultry farmers take the health of their flocks and neighbor farms seriously,” said Allison Brink, Executive Director of Michigan’s Allied Poultry Industries. “By working together to limit the spread of HPAI, Michigan farmers are ensuring there is no disruption in the local turkey, chicken, or egg supply.”

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with these avian influenza detections remains low. No birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people are encouraged to properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    “While human health risk is low regarding HPAI, Michigan’s 45 local health departments are working in conjunction with our state partners to monitor those at higher risk for exposure and help protect overall public health,” said Norm Hess, Executive Director, Michigan Association for Local Public Health. “Local health officers are an essential part of emergency response, including HPAI, by monitoring and assisting responders to limit potential spread.”

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    May 6, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Oakland County Backyard Flock

    For immediate release: May 6, 2022

    Media contacts: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151 or Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

    Michigan bird owners should take immediate preventative actions to help reduce the spread of HPAI

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Oakland County. As cooler temperatures and damp conditions persist throughout the state, the risk for the disease remains high; and Michigan’s bird owners still need to take every measure they can to protect their flocks.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premise is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread.

    The flock contained approximately 40 birds of various species.

    “At this time, HPAI continues to mainly be spread through the migration of wild birds. It is important for bird owners to stop this route of transmission by keeping their flocks away from bodies of water wild birds could visit, bringing their flocks indoors, and following other protocols to prevent the virus from being introduced to their birds,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Every preventative action that is taken makes an impact. At MDARD, we will continue to swiftly contain this disease and help protect against its spread.”

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low.

    Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, people are encouraged to use caution when selecting food for themselves and their families as well as to properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”

    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    April 30, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Branch County Backyard Flock

    For immediate release: April 30, 2022
    Media contacts: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151 or Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

    Prevention is key to keeping HPAI out of Michigan’s domestic flocks

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Branch County. With this case being the third finding of the virus announced by MDARD this week, Michigan’s bird owners need to take every measure to keep wild birds away and protect their flocks.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread.

    The flock contained approximately 20 birds of various species.

    “As wild birds continue to migrate and spread the virus, it is not unexpected to see more cases of HPAI being detected in domestic flocks across the state. However, by implementing and following preventative measures, we all can minimize these cases and protect Michigan’s domestic birds,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Working together, we can lessen the impact of this disease. MDARD remains committed to promptly responding to all suspected cases of HPAI and reducing the spread of the virus.”

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the public health risk associated with this avian influenza detection remains low.

    Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the commercial food chain. As a reminder, people are encouraged to use caution when selecting food for themselves and their families as well as to properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”
    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    April 28, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Wexford County Backyard Flock

    For immediate release: April 28, 2022

    Media contacts: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151 or Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

    Michigan bird owners need to take every precaution to keep wild birds away from their flocks

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Wexford County. This most recent finding of HPAI emphasizes the ongoing high risk for the disease in Michigan and underscores the need for bird owners to maintain their vigilance in protecting their flocks.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread.

    The flock contained approximately 60 birds of various species.

    “Even though temperatures have cooled, wild birds are continuing to migrate and spread the virus. The best strategy we have against HPAI is prevention,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Backyard and commercial flock owners need to do everything they can to keep wild birds and their germs away from domestic flocks. MDARD is continuing to promptly respond to all suspected cases of HPAI to minimize the impact of the disease.”

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

    Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, people are encouraged to use caution when selecting food for themselves and their families as well as to properly handle and cook all poultry and eggs.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”

    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.


    April 27, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Saginaw County Backyard Flock

    For immediate release: April 27, 2022

    Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    Michigan bird owners need to act now to help reduce the spread of HPAI

    LANSING, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Saginaw County. This most recent finding of HPAI emphasizes the ongoing high risk for the disease in Michigan and highlights the need for bird owners to implement every strategy necessary to protect their flocks.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent disease spread.

    The flock contained approximately 35 birds of various species.

    “As HPAI continues to be detected in new counties, bird owners must recognize the time for taking preventative measures is now. The best tool we have against this deadly virus is for backyard and commercial flock owners to take every strategy possible to protect their flocks,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “At MDARD, we continue to respond and act swiftly to reduce the spread of HPAI Michigan. Even with increased detections, we do not anticipate any disruptions to supply chains; and currently, there are no threats to public health or food safety.”

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled and cooked properly.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Reporting Possible Cases

    For Domestic Birds

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    For Wild Birds

    If anyone notices what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, please report these cases to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) by:

    • Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.”

    • Calling the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at 517-336-5030.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    April 18, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Washtenaw County

    For immediate release: April 18, 2022
    Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    MDARD State Vet says now is the time to act to protect your birds

    Lansing, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in domestic parrots at a residential location in Washtenaw County.

    The parrots at the residence had succumbed to the virus, and MDARD is working with the birds’ owners to finalize a flock plan, preventing further disease spread.

    Pet birds who live in a family home are unlikely to have any contact with wild birds. Because the birds typically remain indoors, their only contact with contaminated material could be indirectly through exposed food, cage furniture, or an owner’s clothing. Michiganders with pet birds should not store food or water bowls where wild birds roost or fly and disinfect/change shoes, clothing, etc. if they have been worn off the property.

    “It’s important to recognize it’s very difficult for pet birds to catch avian influenza if the proper precautions are taken to stop the virus. For example, put in safeguards to not introduce any material, food, or clothing that wild birds may have contaminated,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “No matter what bird species or how many birds one owns—now is the time to protect them. Bird owners need to take every strategy to protect their flocks and reduce the spread of HPAI within our state. MDARD continues to act swiftly to reduce the spread and respond to the ongoing presence of HPAI in Michigan.”

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled and cooked properly.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    April 15, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Livingston County; MDARD Urging Poultry Owners to Take Steps to Protect Birds

    For immediate release: April 15, 2022 | Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    Michigan bird owners need to implement key steps to protect poultry to help reduce spread

    Lansing, MI - Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has detected the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard poultry flock from Livingston County. This most recent finding of HPAI emphasizes the ongoing high risk for the disease in Michigan, and poultry owners need to implement every strategy necessary to protect their flocks.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds have been depopulated to prevent further disease spread. The flock contained approximately 20 birds of multiple species.

    "As we continue to respond to HPAI in Michigan, we are strongly encouraging all flock owners to take steps to better protect their poultry and help reduce the spread of this disease. Now is the time for action," said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. “Taking every step possible to keep wild birds and the germs they could be carrying away from domestic birds will help to limit the spread and impact of this virus, keeping Michigan’s flocks healthy.”

    As a result of this detection, there are no anticipated disruptions to supply chains and no threat to public health or food safety.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled and cooked properly.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following a few key steps can protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    Poultry owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    April 12, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Menominee County; the first instance in the Upper Peninsula

    For immediate release: April 12, 2022 | Media contacts: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724 or Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    Michigan bird owners need to implement, follow strict biosecurity to help reduce spread

    LANSING, MI – Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock from Menominee County. This is the third detection in domestic birds in the state, and the first in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers. To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds will be depopulated to prevent further disease spread.

    "As wild birds continue their spring migration and spread the disease, it’s critical Michigan’s backyard and commercial flock owners take every possible precaution to protect their birds through biosecurity. Maintaining the health of Michigan’s domestic birds is a team effort," said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. "Increasing biosecurity protects not only your flock but others around the state. Now more than ever, it is essential poultry owners to take every step possible to keep wild birds away from their flocks and follow strict biosecurity measures.”

    Like the previous domestic bird detections in both Kalamazoo and Macomb counties, this is another isolated case of the virus, and there are no anticipated disruptions to supply chains and no threat to public health or food safety.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled and cooked properly.

    Whether it’s a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following biosecurity measures is fundamental to protect the health and vitality of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Prevent contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Wash your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Do not share equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keep poultry feed secure to ensure there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    Poultry owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at Michigan.gov/BirdFlu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    March 25, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Macomb County Backyard Flock; MDARD Continues to Ask Poultry Owners to Step Up Biosecurity

    Immediate Release: March 25, 2022
    Media contact: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    LANSING, MI – Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock from Macomb County. This second detection in domestic birds underscores the ongoing high risk for HPAI in Michigan, and poultry owners need to take every precaution to protect their flocks through biosecurity.

    "This latest case of HPAI is not unexpected as wild birds are continuing to migrate and spread the disease. Now more than ever, it is vital for poultry owners to take every step possible to keep wild birds away from their flocks and follow other biosecurity measures," said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. "Increasing biosecurity helps protect not only your flock but others around the state. Keeping HPAI away from Michigan’s domestic birds is a team effort.”

    After several birds from the affected flock died and others showed signs of illness, samples were sent to the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MSU VDL) for testing. The results from MSU VDL were then confirmed by NVSL.

    To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds have been depopulated to prevent further disease spread.

    Similar to the previous detection in Kalamazoo County, this is another isolated case of the virus, and there are no anticipated disruptions to supply chains and no threat to public health or food safety.

    According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled and cooked properly.

    HPAI is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers.

    Whether you have a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following these biosecurity measures is fundamental to protecting the health of Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Preventing contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Washing your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Not sharing equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keeping poultry feed secure so there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    Poultry owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    MDARD is continuing to work diligently with local, state, and federal partners to quickly respond to reports of sick or dead domestic birds to best mitigate the spread of HPAI and provide outreach.

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report. Additional resources can also be found at michigan.gov/birdflu.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    March 24, 2022 - Avian Influenza Confirmed in Wild Birds in Macomb, Monroe and St. Clair counties

    March 24, 2022

    Contact: Megan Moriarty (DNR), 517-614-9263

    The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced that highly pathogenic avian influenza is now confirmed in the state’s wild bird population. The disease was identified in free-ranging Canada geese and tundra swans from St. Clair County, in snowy owls from Macomb County and in a mute swan from Monroe County. Avian influenza is a virus that can infect both free-ranging and domestic poultry such as chickens, turkeys, quail, geese and swans.

    Six Canada geese and two tundra swans collected last week at St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area and two snowy owls from Macomb County were delivered to the DNR's Wildlife Disease Laboratory for necropsy. Initial testing was performed at Michigan State University's Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. These tests were non-negative, and the samples forwarded to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Lab in Ames, Iowa, for final confirmation. The DNR received confirmation Thursday, March 24, the geese, swans and owls were infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza, subtype H5N1. An additional positive case was identified in a mute swan from Monroe County on March 15.

    This disease detection comes after the state’s first HPAI detection in a backyard, non-commercial poultry flock in Kalamazoo County in late February 2022. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has continued to urge poultry owners to step up their own biosecurity precautions by minimizing the number of people coming in contact with birds, isolating birds from wild birds whenever possible, and disinfecting hands and clothing after coming in contact with poultry.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to people from HPAI viruses to be low. To date, no human HPAI infections have been detected in the United States. Avian influenza has been found in backyard poultry flocks, commercial flocks and in wild birds.

    DNR Director Dan Eichinger said the state's ongoing focus is working to prevent the disease's spread in wildlife and domestic poultry.

    "This confirmed positive finding of highly pathogenic avian influenza in wild birds prompts several steps that are informed by Michigan's Surveillance and Response Plan for HPAI in wildlife," said Eichinger. "The DNR and MDARD are working that plan with other experts and stakeholders and taking advantage of every available resource that aims to limit the spread of HPAI."

    The state's wildlife HPAI plan was developed by DNR's Wildlife Division in 2006 and updated in 2021. The DNR already practices regular examination of carcasses from mortality events affecting birds. Guided by the plan, the DNR has canceled the roundup and relocation of Canada geese for the year. The DNR will make limited exceptions in approved situations where there are elevated human health and safety concerns. Sites that have received roundup permits will be refunded their application fees. With the cancellation of Canada goose roundup and relocation, the DNR is encouraging nest and egg destruction to resolve conflicts. For 2022, the eligibility requirements for nest and egg destruction will be waived. There is no charge for permits for this activity.

    With this type of highly pathogenic avian influenza, there may be an absence of many of the routine signs of illness in domestic poultry. Sudden death and high death losses are major indicators of HPAI. However, sick birds may experience neurological signs; difficulty walking; lack of appetite, energy or vocalization; significant drop in egg production; swollen combs, wattles, legs or head; diarrhea; or nasal discharge, sneezing or coughing.

    Wild birds commonly have avian influenza and sometimes spread it to domestic birds through direct or indirect transmission. Ducks and geese are considered carriers; however, geese generally do not pass it on.

    MDARD, the DNR, MSU, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services and Wildlife Services are working together to conduct avian influenza surveillance and to monitor health of poultry, livestock, wildlife and residents in Michigan.

    Residents who notice the death loss of three or more free-ranging birds should report it to the DNR through the Eyes in the Field app or by calling 517-336-5030. If your domestic poultry is experiencing severe illness or multiple death losses, contact MDARD at 800-292-3939. For more information, go to Michigan.gov/BirdFlu, Michigan.gov/AvianInfluenza or Michigan.gov/AvianDiseases.

    February 24, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Detected in Michigan Backyard Flock; MDARD Urges Poultry Owners to Increase Biosecurity

    Immediate Release: February 24, 2022

    Media contact: Chelsea Lewis-Parisio, 517-331-1151

    Lansing, MI – Following an investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has confirmed the discovery of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a non-commercial backyard flock in Kalamazoo County. This detection shows that the virus is present in the environment and highlights the need for poultry owners to protect their flocks by increasing biosecurity.

    After several birds from the affected flock died and others showed signs of illness, samples were sent to the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MSU VDL) for testing. The results from MSU VDL were then confirmed by NVSL.

    “MDARD is always preparing for situations like this when they arise, which is why we were able to take quick action to contain this disease and help protect against its spread,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “At this time, this is an isolated case. There is no threat to public health or food safety. We do not anticipate any disruptions to supply chains across our state. As this situation develops, we will continue to work with our partners at local and federal levels to best mitigate spread and provide outreach."

    To protect other flocks in Michigan, the premises is currently under quarantine, and the birds have been depopulated to prevent further disease spread.

    Fortunately, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. Also, no birds or bird products infected with HPAI will enter the food chain. As a reminder, all poultry and eggs should be handled and cooked properly.

    "Now, with HPAI present in Michigan, it is critical for poultry owners to increase biosecurity measures and to keep wild birds out in order to protect their flocks. Increasing those measures will be important to ensure domestic birds are kept healthy and safe," said State Veterinarian Dr. Nora Wineland. "Simply put, no matter how many birds or which type of birds someone owns—now is the time to protect them. I’m asking all owners to sign-up for our email alerts so we can provide them with critical updates on this developing situation.”

    Avian influenza is a highly contagious virus that can be spread in various ways from flock to flock, including by wild birds, through contact with infected poultry, by equipment, and on the clothing and shoes of caretakers.

    Whether you have a few backyard birds or a large commercial flock, following these biosecurity measures can help protect Michigan’s domestic birds:

    • Preventing contact between domestic and wild birds by bringing them indoors or ensuring their outdoor area is fully enclosed.
    • Washing your hands before and after handling birds as well as when moving between different coops.
    • Disinfecting boots and other gear when moving between coops.
    • Not sharing equipment or other supplies between coops or other farms.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting equipment and other supplies between uses. If it cannot be disinfected, discard it.
    • Using well water or municipal water as drinking water for birds.
    • Keeping poultry feed secure so there is no contact between the feed/feed ingredients and wild birds or rodents.

    Poultry owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected, contact MDARD immediately at 800-292-3939 (daytime) or 517-373-0440 (after-hours).

    Stay Up to Date

    Subscribe to receive email notifications by visiting MDARD’s website and clicking on the “Avian Influenza” link. After entering a valid email address, subscribers will receive updates and alerts regarding the status of avian influenza in Michigan whenever there are new developments to report.

    More information on avian influenza and how to protect flocks through biosecurity measures can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.

    Additional Resources

    2022 Detections of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (USDA APHIS) June 13, 2022 - MDARD Director Lifts the Stop on Poultry and Waterfowl Exhibitions May 10, 2022 - MDARD's Director Stops Bird Exhibitions to Protect Health of Michigan's Domestic Flocks March 31, 2022 - What You Should Know about Avian Influenza (MSU VDL) February 17, 2022 - Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza not yet detected in Michigan, but found in nine other states (MDARD) January 19, 2022 - Deadly Form of Influenza Found in Two Canadian Flocks -- Poultry Beware (MSU VDL)