Poultry Health

Avian Influenza

Current Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza — Texas

Disease Information

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). LPAI causes only minor illness and occurs naturally in migratory waterfowl. HPAI spreads rapidly and has a high death rate in birds.

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.


What can bird owners do to protect their flocks? By practicing biosecurity, you can help reduce the chances of your birds being exposed to animal diseases such as AI.

  • Eliminate opportunities for your birds to interact with wild birds. We know that wild waterfowl are carriers of disease. The best way to avoid diseases that wildlife carry is to keep domestic animals separated from the wild.
  • If you have birds at home, do not visit another farm, home or facility that also has birds. If you must visit another premises, be sure to shower and put on clean clothes and shoes beforehand.
  • Remember that vehicles can be vehicles for disease transmission. Before you drive down the road, consider where you are going. Will you be heading to the fair, another farm or a live bird market? If the answer is yes, be sure your vehicle is clean and free of dirt, manure and other organic material.
  • Early detection can help prevent the spread of disease. Knowing the signs to look for and monitoring the health of your birds on a regular basis is very important. Some signs to look for include nasal discharge, unusually quiet birds, decreased food and water consumption, drop in egg production, and increased/unusual death loss in your flock.
  • Report sick and dead birds immediately. If your birds appear sick or you have experienced increased mortality, immediately call your private veterinarian or your TAHC region office.

Virulent Newcastle Disease

Virulent Newcastle disease (VND) is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting all species of birds. Previously known as exotic Newcastle disease, VND is a foreign animal disease in the U.S. and is considered one of the most infectious diseases of birds and poultry in the world. The mortality in unvaccinated birds can reach 100 percent and VND can even infect and cause death in vaccinated poultry. VND is a reportable disease to the Texas Animal Health Commission.

Infectious Laryngotracheitis

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


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 organism. PT is a reportable disease to the Texas Animal Health Commission.

Poultry & Fowl Registration

The TAHC registers domestic and exotic fowl sellers, distributors, or transporters who do not participate in disease surveillance programs (i.e., National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)) recognized by the TAHC. Registrations are good for one year from the date of issuance.

If you sell domestic or exotic fowl from your residence only, you are not considered a distributor or transporter under this program and you do not need to register as part of the fowl registration program.

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