Delaware Department of

Poultry & Animal Health

July 12, 2024: In late June, a disease affecting shelter and rescue dogs, causing upper and lower respiratory signs and death, was identified in Delaware. Clinical signs include lethargy, inappetence, fever, clear or mucopurulent (green) nasal and/or ocular discharge, cough, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Mycoplasma cynos was isolated from ill dogs at one rescue. The outbreak is suspected to be multifactorial, involving multiple pathogens that comprise the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). As of July 11, 2024, three Delaware animal shelters and one private rescue have confirmed respiratory outbreaks in dogs, and another shelter has treated affected dogs as veterinary outpatients.

Under the authority granted in 3 Del. C. § 7101, the Delaware Department of Agriculture has issued the Delaware Control Order Restricting Movement of Shelter and Rescue Dogs Due to Canine Respiratory Disease (CIRDC) Outbreak.

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 introducing and spreading infectious and contagious diseases, including those transmissible to the human population.

ATTENTION! If you have an animal complaint or issue, please refer to our Contact Us Page to determine who you should contact for assistance.

If you are a backyard flock owner and have not registered your flock, complete the Poultry Registration Form English / Spanish


What We Do

The Poultry and Animal Health Section is responsible for being 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. 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 responds to reports of actual or potential disease problems from veterinarians and livestock and poultry owners. Our personnel visits 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 Concerns 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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