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Arkansas Game and Fish warns of avian flu infecting birds in the state

As more hunters head out for duck season, some are noticing sick waterfowl.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — Duck hunting season started last Saturday in Arkansas, and now the state is getting reports of sick birds in the state.

Last week, Arkansas Game and Fish started getting calls of sick and abnormally acting waterfowl, primarily snow geese.

Arkansas Game and Fish said that HPAI, a virus that kills large numbers of birds, has spread across the state.

It was first confirmed in October, and a farm had to slaughter 56,000 animals as a result. 

Trey Reid with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission pointed out that it's uncertain just how many wild birds have it.

Several dead birds have been sent off for testing.

The CDC and WHO agreed, this bird flu poses a low risk to the public. 

Game and Fish shared ways to prevent contamination.

"Don't harvest sick or abnormal, you know, birds that are acting weird," said Reid. "Dead birds - don't pick them up. When you are cleaning your waterfowl or any wild game it's good to wear protective gloves or latex gloves."

If you see any birds you think may have avian flu, Game and Fish has set up an email to alert them: agfc.health@agfc.ar.gov.


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