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PNS Daily Newscast - November 13, 2018. 


Californian’s now facing a pair of wildfires; Also on the Tuesday rundown: Higher education in New Jersey: a racial split; plus food resources still available despite the “public charge” proposal.

Daily Newscasts

What Does Bird Flu Mean for You?

PHOTO: With the recent rise in popularity of backyard chicken coops, experts say it's all the more important that all Michiganders know what to do to prevent the further spread of avian influenza. Photo credit: yoel/morguefile.com
PHOTO: With the recent rise in popularity of backyard chicken coops, experts say it's all the more important that all Michiganders know what to do to prevent the further spread of avian influenza. Photo credit: yoel/morguefile.com
June 11, 2015

LANSING, Mich. – With news that the deadly bird flu, which already has killed millions of poultry and captive birds, has been confirmed in Michigan, experts say extra vigilance is needed to help prevent the spread of the disease.

Katie Ockert, a 4-H animal science educator at Michigan State University Extension, says anyone who deals with birds, including the many Michiganders who raise backyard chickens, needs to take special precautions.

"Making sure to wash your hands before and after you interact with your birds,” she advises. “Having one set of clothing and footwear to go and care for your animals in, and that doesn't get worn anyplace else, and is washed often."

Michigan is the 21st state to report cases of the H5N2 flu strain, which has a very low transmission rate to humans. However, Ockert cautions that anyone who sees wild birds that are dead or appear ill should not touch them, and should contact the state's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Because of the outbreak, Michigan officials have cancelled all of this year's poultry and waterfowl exhibitions statewide, including county fairs, swap meets and petting zoos.

Ockert says while this is a disappointment to the thousands of children in programs such as 4-H, it's also an important real-life agriculture lesson.

"We're figuring out ways that youth can still be involved through a little less traditional methods, but we're really trying hard to salvage what we can," says.

Ockert adds that there will be alternate forms of judging experiences for those who raise birds for exhibition, and that plans are still in the works for raised poultry that is typically sold at market following fairs, such as broiler chickens and turkeys.


Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI