Poultry Health

Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza (AI) is a flu virus that may cause illness in domestic poultry, fowl and birds. Migratory waterfowl are a natural reservoir for this disease.

There are many strains of the AI virus. Based on the severity of illness caused by the virus, these strains are put into two classifications, low pathogenic (LPAI) and highly pathogenic (HPAI). Most virus strains are typically considered LPAI and cause little to no clinical signs in infected birds. However, some strains are highly pathogenic or capable of mutating to HPAI under certain field conditions. HPAI can be extremely infectious and fatal form of the disease.

  • AI has not been discovered in Texas.
  • Since December 2014, the USDA has confirmed several cases of HPAI H5N2 and H5N8 in other states located in the Pacific, Central, and Mississippi flyways (or migratory bird paths). The disease has been found in wild birds, as well as in a few backyard and commercial poultry flocks.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the risk to people from these HPAI H5 infections to be low. No human cases of these HPAI H5 viruses have been detected in the United States, Canada, or internationally.
  • The TAHC advises poultry owners to practice strong biosecurity and remain vigilant in examining the health of their birds. If your birds exhibit unusual death loss or signs of illness, or you observe large scale sickness and mortality of wild birds, call your private veterinarian or the TAHC immediately at 1-800-550-8242.


The following hotlines are available to the public to address the following topics related to avian influenza.

  • General questions about avian influenza and biosecurity: 1-800-550-8242
  • Report sick or dead poultry: 1-800-550-8242
  • Report sick or dead wild waterfowl: 806-674-2258
  • Movement permits into/within/out of the control zones: 512-719-0777

Informational Websites

Informational Resources

Exotic Newcastle Disease

Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting most species of birds. Also known as Velogenic Viscerotropic Newcastle Disease (VVND), END is a foreign animal disease in the U.S. and is considered one of the most infectious diseases of birds and poultry. END can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry. END is a reportable disease to the Texas Animal Health Commission.

TAHC Information Resources

Infectious Laryngotracheitis

Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT) is an acute, highly infectious, respiratory disease in poultry caused by a hepesvirus. ILT is a reportable disease to the Texas Animal Health Commission.

TAHC Information Resources

Pullorum Typhoid

Pullorum Typhoid (PT) are septicaemic diseases, primarily of chickens and turkeys, caused by bacteria. Fowl typhoid should not be confused with typhoid fever in humans, which is caused by a different organizm. PT is a reportable disease to the Texas Animal Health Commission.

TAHC Information Resources

Poultry & Fowl Registration

The TAHC registers domestic and exotic fowl sellers, distributors, or transporters who do not participate in disease surveillance programs recognized by the TAHC. Registrations are good for one year from the date of issuance. Read the Domestic and Exotic Fowl Registration rules in Chapter 54 of the Texas Administrative Code.

More information is also available in the Facts About Fowl Registration Brochure.

If you have any questions about fowl registration, please contact your TAHC region office.