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Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Urges Poultry Producers to Increase Biosecurity, Monitoring

February 23, 2022

For Immediate Release:              
February 23, 2022

Contact: Jennifer Finley, Press Secretary – 225-922-1256
Megan Moore, Public Information Director – 225-935-2179

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Urges Poultry Producers to Increase Biosecurity, Monitoring

BATON ROUGE, LA – The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) urges poultry producers and owners, including commercial and non-commercial backyard flocks, to increase biosecurity measures at their operations in response to several reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in other states.

There are currently no confirmed cases of HPAI in the state of Louisiana.

Additionally, avian influenza does not present a food safety risk; poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

HPAI is caused by an influenza type A virus that can infect poultry and wild birds. HPAI virus strains are extremely infectious, often fatal to chickens, and can spread rapidly from flock to flock. Symptoms can include a sudden increase in bird deaths with no clinical signs, lack of energy and appetite, decrease in egg production, soft or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs, and more.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick.  People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

Although there have been no reports of HPAI in Louisiana to date, there have been multiple cases reported in other states, including some in the Mississippi Flyway. Because of these confirmed infections, Louisiana urges poultry owners to increase biosecurity efforts.

“Hopefully, Louisiana will not see a confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza, but we all need to be diligent in practicing good biosecurity. By doing so, we can reduce the risk of people, animals, equipment, or vehicles carrying infectious diseases onto our property,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. “Reinforcing biosecurity practices is the most effective proactive measure to take against the potential spread of HPAI into Louisiana and the easiest to implement.”

Biosecurity refers to everything people do to keep diseases – and the viruses, bacteria, funguses, parasites, and other microorganisms that cause diseases – away from birds, property, and people. Biosecurity measures can include keeping visitors to a minimum, changing clothes before entering poultry areas, cleaning tools or equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility, and more.

Anyone involved with poultry production, from a small backyard to a large commercial producer, should review their biosecurity activities to ensure the health of their birds. APHIS has materials about biosecurity, including videos, checklists, and a toolkit available as part of its Defend The Flock program.

Poultry producers and owners should also monitor their flocks and report any possible symptoms to the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Diagnostic Lab at 318-927-3441.

More information on HPAI and HPAI symptoms can be found at

Confirmed HPAI cases in the U.S. for 2022 can be found at