WEST HAVEN >> As West Haven discusses allowing backyard poultry, the USDA-APHIS has released a statement about how to keep backyard birds healthy and protect them from infectious disease. Avian influenza can affect all poultry, and it can be transmitted by wild birds that will be actively migrating. Not only is this important for individual flocks, but also for collectively protecting birds in the U.S. from devastating disease. USDA-APHIS has multiple resources available to help bird owners protect their poultry, including six simple biosecurity steps to keep backyard flocks healthy: \u2022 Keep your distance: Wild birds can carry disease to your flock. Restricting access to your birds and property can keep them healthy. \u2022 Keep it clean: Germs can be spread quickly and easily. Prevent spread of disease by disinfecting and cleaning anything that comes in contact with your birds. \u2022 Don\u2019t haul disease home: Wherever you travel, the germs follow. Cleaning equipment and vehicles are simple ways to prevent spread of disease. \u2022 Don\u2019t borrow disease from a neighbor: Sharing is not caring. Do not share equipment or supplies with neighbors or other bird owners. \u2022 Know the warning sign of infectious bird diseases: Early detection of sickness in a flock is critical. Knowing the signs of a sick bird can save the others. \u2022 Report sick birds: When you see a disease, report it. Contact a veterinarian or call the local extension service to report any signs of illness in a flock. For more information, go to the USDA-APHIS website.