LACEY – Popcorn Park Zoo, a domestic and exotic animal rescue center run by Associated Humane Societies, will be closed through Friday due to the discovery of deadly bird flu in a duck and a goose at the facility, according to staff.
Employees discovered the dead duck and goose and sent the bodies for testing, according to zoo staff. Both animals tested positive for Highly pathogenic avian influenzasaid Danny Mendez, the zoo’s director of outreach.
“It is a difficult time for everyone at the zoo right now,” he said in an email to the Asbury Park Press.
On Saturday, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture announced that a case of Highly pathogenic avian influenza was found in a backyard flock in Ocean County, but did not release any additional details about where the birds were found.
PreviouslyAvian flu detected in Ocean County backyard flock
Wild waterfowl carry and spread highly pathogenic avian influenza, but domestic species are particularly vulnerable to the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Weather transmission to humans it is rare, it can be deadly in some cases, according to the CDC. humans may be infected by the virus through direct and prolonged contact with infected birds. The virus can enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth by inhaling virus particles after a bird flaps its wings, shakes its head or scratches the ground, according to the federal agency. Bird handlers can also become infected by touching bird or enclosure areas, according to the CDC.
There are no concerns that zoo staff will be infected by the birds, Mendez said.
“HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) is a fairly specialized avian virus, and our staff use personal protective equipment such as gloves and coveralls to prevent the spread of any disease or illness and to protect our resident animals here at Popcorn Park Animal Refuge.” when dealing with any suspected infection,” he said.
Staff at the Popcorn Park Zoo said the facility will be closed through Friday to allow for disinfection.
The state Department of Agriculture said the affected flock would be euthanized and the site quarantined.
“A group of birds, mostly poultry and waterfowl, have been identified and selected by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) to be humanely euthanized by the agency in the hope that the virus will not spread. spread,” Mendez said. “None of our other resident birds are affected or suspected of having been exposed due to the various locations and housing situations.”
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The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a division of the federal Department of Agriculture, is also working with the state department on disease response at the site, according to the state agriculture department.
According to the state department of agriculture.
This is the third case of the virus discovered in domestic birds in New Jersey this year, according to the CDC. Since January, more than 47 million domestic and commercial birds in the United States have been affected by the avian flu outbreak, according to the CDC.
At Popcorn Park, staff are working with state and federal agencies and taking “immediate steps” to minimize the risk of infection to resident birds from infected wildlife, Mendez said.
Amanda Oglesby is a native of Ocean County and covers Brick, Barnegat, and Lacey townships, as well as the environment. She has worked for the press for more than a decade. Contact her at @OglesbyAPP, email@example.com, or 732-557-5701.