Cornell Cooperative Agriculture postpones events due to recent cases of highly pathogenic bird flu, Broome County Health Department weighs risk

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) – According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, several cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza have been confirmed in the Northeast – infecting both wild birds and poultry facilities. .

In February 2022, the first case of HPAI was detected in Suffolk County, New York. Cornell Cooperative associate director of agriculture Brian Aukema said that due to recent cases of bird flu, the organization has had to cancel some of its youth development programs.

“There have been a few cases here in New York, so what we’re trying to do is help prevent the spread,” Aukema said. “We have had to cancel programs where we have children who go to work with poultry and mixed flocks. We are trying to help mitigate any spread.

Although the increased risk of bird flu has prevented the organization from holding some events, Aukema said he is using this opportunity to teach young people about biosecurity and keeping your animals healthy.

Broome County Health Department Medical Director Chris Ryan said bird flu poses no risk to human health. However, he said it can be fatal to the birds it infects – which can be a cause for concern for poultry farmers and workers.

Fortunately, Ryan said there are some precautions people can take to protect their flocks from infection.

“Minimize both vehicular and foot traffic inside and outside your premises where you have the chickens,” Ryan said. “And the same for shoes too. For boots and shoes when entering and leaving the chickens, washing and disinfecting them can also be useful.

NYSDEC asks anyone who notices unusual illness or bird death to report it to the regional DEC office or the Wildlife Health Program at 518-478-3034 or 518-478-2203.

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