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USDA confirms Avian influenza in five Maine counties

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that hundreds of birds in small, non-commercial flocks in five Maine counties have been exposed to or sickened by the highly pathogenic avian influenza. There is no cure or treatment for the Avian flu and birds infected must be euthanized. Maine's Department of Agriculture is warning small flock owners to keep birds indoors or cover outdoor runs to protect them from droppings of migrating wild birds. State agriculture spokesman Jim Britt says residents also need to be cautious when buying new birds.

"People are buying chicks at this time of year," said Britt. "It's always recommended to purchasse birds from a reputable source that uses biosecurity protocols and closely monitors poultry health."

Britt says bird swaps, even among friends, is not a good idea. The USDA has a program in place to compensate bird owners who must euthanize their flocks due to Avian flue. Visit USDA APHIS | Home Landing Page for information.