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Delaware Department of

Poultry & Animal Health

Our Mission

A happy and healthy hen foraging in an enclosed backyardThe Poultry and Animal Health Section of the Delaware Department of Agriculture is committed to protecting the health and welfare of domestic animal and avian species from the introduction and spread of infectious and contagious diseases, including those transmissible to the human population.
If you are a backyard flock owner, and have not registered your flock, complete the Poultry Registration Form English / Spanish

Stray Livestock: Stray livestock or agricultural animals at large can be reported to the Poultry and Animal Health Section of the Department of Agriculture. Please call 302-698-4500 or email DEanimalhealth@delaware.gov with your name, contact information, and as much detail as possible about the animals, location, and specific problem. After business hours, please call 302-233-1480.


What We Do

It is the responsibility of the Poultry and Animal Health Section to be completely familiar with the diseases of all classes of animals — livestock and exotic, as well as commercial poultry and exotic birds. This applies not only to the local situation, but regionally and nationally as well. If there is a serious disease in another state or section of the country, the State Veterinarian may place importation restrictions or an embargo on the affected species in an attempt to prevent the introduction of the disease into this state until an epidemiological situation report is made available.

This section is charged with preventing the introduction and spread of contagious and infectious diseases into and within the animal and poultry population of the state. We maintain a diagnostic laboratory, and cooperate with the poultry diagnostic laboratory system of the University of Delaware. Our personnel respond to reports of actual or potential disease problems from veterinarians as well as from livestock and poultry owners. Our personnel visit farms, dairies, livestock auctions, and other premises with animals to collect biological specimens for analysis and diagnosis of disease. When serious, highly contagious diseases are diagnosed, the State Veterinarian, through the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture, may quarantine the animal, herd, or flock to prevent the spread of disease to other premises.



  • Stray Livestock
  • Welfare Concern Regarding Livestock and Poultry
  • Rabies
  • Emergency Animal Disease Hotline (After hours) 302-233-1480

Species Specific Information



Non-poultry birds

Captive cervids

Other (camelid, ratite, aquaculture)

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