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EAST LANSING, MI -- As the poultry industry continues to recover from the worst avian influenza outbreak in history, biosecurity remains a key tool in preventing the spread of the disease. To help area poultry producers and backyard enthusiasts learn more about the avian influenza epidemic and effective biosecurity practices, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension will partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to offer a free training in Mason on Mar. 7.

The workshop, to be held at the Ingham County Fairgrounds, will provide valuable information about avian influenza, disease transmission and prevention, and proven biosecurity measures that any bird owner can implement. Poultry producers, owners of backyard flocks, 4-H and FFA members and volunteers, as well as anyone interested in poultry and biosecurity are encouraged to attend.

“Avian influenza is a devastating disease that can destroy entire flocks,” said Katie Ockert, animal science educator for MSU Extension. “Although the spread of the disease appears to have slowed for now, we know it is likely to flare up again and Michigan is at high risk because wild birds frequently migrate across our state. These trainings will help provide Michigan poultry producers with all the knowledge and tools necessary to help protect their birds, as well as the poultry industry in our state.”

The Ingham County bird biosecurity training will begin at 7 p.m. at 700 E. Ash Street in Mason. For those unable to attend the session in person, a live virtual connection will be available, with an opportunity for questions and answers with the training instructors.

Although the training is offered free of charge, all attendees, including those who join online, are asked to register at http://events.anr.msu.edu/APHIS/. Additional information about avian influenza and biosecurity can be found at msue.msu.edu/avianinfluenza. If you have questions or would like additional information about the biosecurity training, please contact Katie Ockert at 517-432-5270 or ockertka@anr.msu.edu.

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