Gov. Polis declares disaster emergency to deal with avian flu in Colorado

five brown hens on ground beside fence by Ben Moreland is licensed under unsplash.com

The department said Tuesday that 1.78 million birds will be killed at the location known as Weld 11 following a presumptive positive confirmation Friday from the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The National Veterinary Sciences Lab confirmed the result Monday. It appeared that the facility is east of Keenesburg, based on a quarantine map of the area. A spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment about the address late Tuesday.

Outbreaks of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus have been threatening Colorado domestic birds since March 2022, according to state officials.

Gov. Jared Polis last week verbally declared a disaster emergency as a result of the outbreak at the Weld facility, the office reported on Monday. The declaration is meant to ensure that state officials can provide resources to protect the agriculture industry, officials said.

The declaration specifically “unlocks the resources necessary to help affected poultry facilities respond to and contain outbreaks of avian flu,” according to a news release from Polis’s office. It directs the state Office of Emergency Management to help with all response, recovery and mitigation related to the latest outbreak.

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