Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza: Maine Animal Health Officials Respond to Avian Influenza

By Anne Lichtenwalner, University of Maine Associate Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences and Director of the UMaine Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

Dear Maine poultry owners,

We have recently had some of our Maine backyard poultry flocks become exposed to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).*  We are not alone — there are similar situations in eastern Canada, New York, Delaware, Kentucky, Virginia, and Indiana. Our wild waterfowl can carry this virus and it has been detected in wild birds in New Hampshire, the Carolinas, and other regions during 2022. As this is a serious disease, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry have teamed up with the USDA to monitor and respond to the situation. We’ll post their updates here and add helpful material as it becomes available.

If you have reason to suspect AI, then please call the APHIS’ toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593 and/or the state veterinarian. If you have sick birds, but not sudden deaths or other reasons to suspect AI, please contact your vet, and/or the UMaine Extension Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (207.581.3874 or umvdl@maine.edu).

If you have specific questions about HPAI or bird health, please be sure to consult the USDA website (or our lab if you still have questions).

*Read more in the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Situational Report – March 17, 2022, by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.