Biosecurity and Wild Birds
Since December 2014, APHIS has confirmed more than 200 cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in U.S commercial and backyard poultry flocks, as well as in wild birds. Wild migratory birds, particularly waterfowl, can carry this disease.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services needs hunters and bird watchers to keep an eye out for signs HPAI. These include the unexplained die-offs of birds or birds showing signs of being sick.
Do not pick up deceased or obviously sick birds. Contact your State, tribal, or Federal natural resources agency if you find sick or dead birds.
- Wear rubber gloves when cleaning your bird feeders.
- Wash hands with soap and water immediately after cleaning feeders.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning bird feeders.
Follow routine precautions when handling wild birds.
- Do not handle or consume game animals that are obviously sick or found dead.
- Do not eat, drink, or smoke while cleaning game.
- Wear rubber gloves when cleaning game.
- Wash hands with soap and water, or alcohol wipes, immediately after handling game.
- Wash tools and working surfaces with soap and water and then disinfect.
- Keep uncooked game in a separate container, away from cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
- Cook game meat thoroughly; poultry should reach an internal temperature of 165 degree Fahrenheit to kill disease organisms and parasites.
- To report unusual signs in birds you have seen in the wild, call 1-866-4-USDA-WS. To learn more about how you can help, visit usda.gov/birdflu.