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Ohio Department of Agriculture Warns Songbird Illness Could Impact Poultry

photo of chickens
Rick Jackson
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is advising poultry owners to keep a close watch on their flock for potential outbreaks of a mysterious illness affecting songbirds.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is warning poultry farmers to be vigilant in the face of the mysterious illness effecting songbirds.

Interim state veterinarian Dr. Dennis Summers says it’s possible the illness could also impact poultry, but so far there has been no evidence of this.

Summers: no evidence of illness in poultry

“There’s nothing to indicate that this disease in songbirds has had any impact on our poultry industry, so our food supply is still safe. Our egg supply is safe," he said. "There’s no indication that it’s a human health threat in any way. We’re just a little stumped on the cause of agents.”

Summers says they’ve tested the effected songbirds for all of the diseases that could have a huge impact on commercial poultry, such as avian flu and West Nile virus. In the meantime, he says poultry owners should protect their flocks from exposure to wild birds and notify the Department of Agriculture of any signs of the illness in their flocks.

Summers urges people who see sick or dying birds to report them to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Abigail Bottar is a junior at Kent State University. She is pursuing a major in political science with a concentration in American politics and minors in history and women's studies. Additionally, Abigail is starting her second semester copy editing for The Burr.