Snow Goose Hunters – samples needed to monitor for high path avian influenza

Iowa DNRRecently confirmed out breaks of high path avian influenza in commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota, Missouri and Arkansas, and in a backyard chicken and duck flock in Kansas has Iowa wildlife officials on alert.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources in partnership with the USDA Wildlife Services is looking to collect swab samples from 150 snow geese from across Iowa looking for the presence of this disease.

The samples need to be taken within 24 hours of harvest. Samples are collected by swabbing the throat and the cloaca with a cotton swab. Successful hunters may call 217-306-8287 to arrange for collection. It only takes a minute and hunters may keep the birds.

Avian influenza is found naturally in certain waterfowl and shorebirds. However, the recent origin of a high path avian influenza (HPAI H5N8) in the Pacific Northwest has raised concerns regarding the potential impact on wild birds and domestic poultry. The Centers for Disease Control considers the risk to people from high path infections in wild birds, backyard flocks and commercial poultry, to be low.

The light goose conservation order ends April 15.

For more information, contact Josh Wisdom, United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Wildlife Service at Joshua.P.Wisdom@aphis.usda.gov.

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