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UDAF Confirms New Case of Avian Influenza in Salt Lake County

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) officials have confirmed one new case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) this week in Salt Lake County. This brings the total number of cases in Utah to five, one in Utah County, three in Cache County, and one in Salt Lake County.

“We urge bird owners with flocks of all sizes to take extreme caution with their bird’s habitats,” said Utah State Veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “The more potential exposure the birds may have to wild and migrating birds, the greater the risk of the flock contracting the disease.”

The new case was discovered in a backyard flock of birds on the West side of Salt Lake County. The flock experienced high death rates and the owners contacted the state veterinarian’s office immediately. It is suspected that the disease was contracted by coming in contact with wild waterfowl that could access the property. The flock was quarantined and depopulation was implemented by the state veterinarian’s office to contain the disease.

Officials at UDAF urge bird owners in Utah to continue to be vigilant in checking their birds for symptoms and ensuring they are following good biosecurity practices. Symptoms include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact the state veterinarian’s office immediately at statevet@utah.gov. Early reporting and action will help to contain the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. One case of this strain of HPAI has been detected in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.

 

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Bulls Test Positive for Trich in Summit County

The Utah State Veterinarian’s office has identified two cases of trichomoniasis (Trich) positive bulls from two beef cattle herds in Summit County. These herds were part of a grazing association in Weber Canyon during the summer of 2021.

“To have multiple cases of Trich in our state in one year is very concerning,” said Dr. Dean Taylor, Utah State Veterinarian. “It is vitally important that cattle owners follow the rules and guidelines set up for testing of these animals so we can prevent the spread of this disease.”

Trich is a venereal disease of cattle caused by a protozoa (microscopic parasite). It is spread between cattle during breeding. Cows generally abort the fetus from this breeding and then clear the infection, but bulls remain infected for life. There is no treatment for Trich and this disease can be economically devastating to cattle herds because of:

  •      Culling of positive bulls and purchase of replacement bulls
  •      Increased abortion rate leading to a reduced calf crop
  •      Prolonged calving season and lower calf weights at sale
  •      Culling of open cows
  •      Loss of genetics

Utah requires yearly testing of all bulls for Trich, with the exception of dairy cattle who are kept in confinement and bison bulls. Individuals that had cattle in this area and are concerned this could affect their cattle herd should contact the Utah State Veterinarian’s office by emailing statevet@utah.gov.

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is taking steps to quarantine affected animals and will place the herds with positive tests on a plan to stop the spread of the disease.

 

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Additional Case of Avian Influenza Confirmed in Cache County

An additional case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) was confirmed in Cache County on Thursday, April 28, at the Zootah facility in Logan by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) officials.

“The owners of Zootah notified our office of the infected bird immediately,” said Utah State Veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “They have worked closely with our office on their response plan and implementing proper quarantine measures at their zoo.”

Zootah closed their facility down as soon as the case was confirmed and is under a state-ordered quarantine procedure.

The affected birds, some of which are endangered species, are considered captive wildlife and not poultry. UDAF officials are working with the zoo owners on a specialized response plan to avoid depopulation of these birds.

Officials at UDAF urge bird owners in Utah to continue to be vigilant in checking their birds for symptoms and ensuring they are following good biosecurity practices. Symptoms include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact the state veterinarian’s office immediately at statevet@utah.gov. Early reporting and action will help to contain the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. One case of this strain of HPAI has been detected in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.

 

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Utah Food Security Processing Grant Opening May 1, 2022

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) is excited to announce the launch of the Utah Food Security Processing Grant, open May 1 – May 31.

During the 2022 General Session, UDAF was appropriated $1,000,000 by the Utah Legislature to provide grants to small meat, poultry, and fruit and vegetable processors to make immediate impacts to processing capacity to improve local food security.

UDAF is seeking applicants who plan to open a new processing facility or expand an existing facility to increase their processing capacity to meet current demand, protect the security of the food supply, and help ensure more Utah-produced food is processed in-state. This program will reimburse processors for a portion of expenses to expand existing facilities or build new facilities. Grant amounts will be dependent on the total amount of eligible applications received and approved. $1,000,000 of grant funding is currently available for this program.  

For more information, including eligibility information and application forms, visit ag.utah.gov/foodsecuritygrant.

UDAF Confirms Second Case of Avian Influenza

Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) officials confirmed Utah’s second case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in Cache County on Friday.

“The diagnosis of HPAI on this farm is devastating,” said Utah State Veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “UDAF is working to contain the disease and prevent it from spreading further in this area.”

The owner of the farm noticed his birds experiencing symptoms of HPAI and contacted UDAF immediately. The farm had been following very strict biosecurity measures.

UDAF is continuing to work with federal, state, and local  partners on the response plan and all infected birds will be depopulated. Additional surveillance and testing will be done in the surrounding area to help prevent further spread of HPAI.

Officials at UDAF urge bird owners in Utah to continue to be vigilant in checking their birds for symptoms and ensuring they are following good biosecurity practices. Symptoms include high death loss among flocks, nasal discharge, decreased appetite or water consumption, and lack of coordination in birds. If birds are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact the state veterinarian’s office immediately at statevet@utah.gov. Early reporting and action will help to contain the disease.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of this strain of HPAI have been detected in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.

Anyone involved with poultry production from the small backyard to the large commercial producer should review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/dtf-resources/dtf-resources.

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