Avian Flu Precautions | Indraloka Animal Sanctuary
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Rescued goat Franklin at Indraloka
Indraloka Team Captain Franklin

Avian Flu Precautions

Dear Friends,

As you may have heard, a deadly virus is spreading among birds across the world, and, sadly, a case has been reported not very far from Indraloka. This strain of avian flu, called H5N1, is very dangerous to several species, but at this point, we have been informed that it is very low-risk to humans.

This strain of avian flu is, however, extremely dangerous to our birds, and can also impact several other species including pigs and horses. It is highly contagious and can spread easily within the same species and closely related species. It is spread by wild birds, and it is possible that any one of us might pick up the virus on our shoes or vehicle tires, and then unknowingly spread it further.

So, we are taking care to ensure that the beloveds at Indraloka are safe and protected. In order to do this, there are some things you should know if you plan to visit us:

  • All of our birds are under strict quarantine. No visitors will be allowed to visit with them until the danger passes. 
  • Additionally, all guests will be asked to dunk and scrub their shoes with disinfectant upon entering and exiting barns as well as the property.
  • All guests will be asked to use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the property, and also when entering and exiting each barn.
  • We ask that if you have birds of your own, or have recently interacted with birds who have outdoor access within the last 14 days, you refrain from visiting for now.

We do not know how long the danger of this virus will last, and we are grateful to each of you for helping us to protect the animals’ health and safety.  Most of the birds at Indraloka are in a fragile health state because of their age.  Most birds of these species are not allowed to live into their senior years.  Much like humans, as birds age, they develop health challenges in their advanced years.  While there is little risk to humans or other species, should any of our birds be exposed to Avian Flu, even by accident, it will likely be fatal for them and many of their family members, which would be devastating for all of us and thousands of children who visit us.

With gratitude,

Indra

Learn about the specific things we’re doing:

  • We are currently quarantining all of our birds
  • We are protecting food and water sources from being accessed by wild birds, or from being exposed to feces or feathers from wild birds
  • We are storing food and bedding securely, in a manner to protect them from access by wild birds or other wildlife
  • We are keeping waterfowl separate from other birds, and preventing waterfowl from accessing ponds to which wild waterfowl also have access
  • We are keeping quarantine spaces and surrounding areas clean, dry, and well-maintained
  • We are currently not allowing volunteers access to bird areas, and limiting staff access
  • Preventing humans from spreading the virus on their shoes, clothes, and hands by requiring all staff to: Wear gloves and quarantine suits, with hair covered, when entering bird quarantine areas, and to use footbaths when entering the property and every barn
  • Using footbaths before entering and exiting each barn and the property
  • Only allowing essential staff to enter bird living spaces, and having one person to care for non-waterfowl residents without coming into contact with waterfowl residents whenever possible
  • Training all volunteers on these operating procedures
  • Directing humans who interact with domestic or wild birds, or have birds of their own, to refrain from visiting and volunteering
  • Directing staff who interact with domestic or wild birds, or who have birds of their own, to shower thoroughly, wash hair, and wear clean clothes and different boots and jackets while at work
  • Limiting vehicle access across the property
  • When vehicles must be allowed on our property, (feed, straw, and hay deliveries, or the vet, for example) wheel wells and tires should be cleaned and disinfected at the gate before entering
  • Disinfecting tractor and truck tires daily and whenever they return to the property
  • Directing essential vehicles (such as propane and feed delivery trucks or portable toilet service vehicles) to stop at the gate before entering, where staff or trained volunteers will disinfect tires before they enter the property 
  • Keeping tools and supplies protected in a secure area where they cannot be contaminated
  • Disinfecting tools, supplies, and equipment daily
  • Not sharing or borrowing equipment between barns– mucking tools, bowls, water dishes, pools, and even feed scoops and chlorhex containers are used only in the barn they are stored in, not moved from barn to barn
  • Cleaning and disinfecting food and water containers daily

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