LANSING, MICH. – Michigan animal health officials confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a backyard, non-commercial flock in Menominee County, which includes Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This detection is the third in the state and the first in the Upper Peninsula. The case was confirmed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the US Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories. Previous outbreaks were recently discovered in Kalamazoo and Macomb counties. 

MDARD did not specify how many birds were in the flock, which were to be culled to prevent the spread of the disease while the premises were placed under quarantine. The latest discovery is thought to be an isolated case and no interruptions to supply chains are expected.

Michigan State Veterinarian, Nora Wineland, DVM, said the latest outbreak serves as an urgent reminder to bird owners and production operators to double down on biosecurity as the disease continues to spread across the country. HPAI is known to be spread by migratory birds and through contact with infected birds via equipment, clothing and shoes of those working around flocks. 

“As wild birds continue their spring migration and spread the disease, it’s critical Michigan’s backyard and commercial flock owners take every possible precaution to protect their birds through biosecurity. Maintaining the health of Michigan’s domestic birds is a team effort,” Wineland said. “Increasing biosecurity protects not only your flock but others around the state. Now more than ever, it is essential for poultry owners to take every step possible to keep wild birds away from their flocks and follow strict biosecurity measures.”