Additional flocks test positive for avian flu

Local News

PICKENS COUNTY, Ala. (WZDX) — The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industry (ADAI) has confirmed that two flocks hundreds of miles apart have tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI).

The ADAI stresses that this suspected strain of avian influenza does not pose a risk to the food supply and no affected animals entered the food chain.

This is a different strain than the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus recently found in Tennessee.

The virus was found in the Pickens County flock during a routine inspection. Samples collected tested positive at the Alabama state lab in Auburn and were confirmed at the USDA National lab (NVSL) in Iowa. This flock is under quarantine.

The NVSL also confirmed a positive result for a Madison County backyard flock.

Surveillance zones are in place surrounding the locations in Pickens and Madison Counties.

The official Order Prohibiting Poultry Exhibitions and the Assembling of Poultry to Be Sold put in place on March 14th remains in effect. The order prohibits “all poultry exhibitions, sales at regional and county fairs, festivals, swap meets, live bird markets, flea markets and auctions. The order also prohibits the concentration, collection, or assembly of poultry of all types, including wild waterfowl from one or more premises for purposes of sale.”

Dr. Frazier says, ““The health of our poultry is critically important at this time,” said Dr. Frazier. “With confirmed cases of low pathogenic avian influenza in Alabama in both commercial and backyard flocks, the order reducing the assembly and commingling of poultry is the most effective way to practice strict biosecurity measures in our state.”

Strict biosecurity measure include:

•           Isolating poultry from other animals;

•           Wearing clothing designated for use only at the poultry house;

•           Minimizing access to people and unsanitized equipment;

•           Keeping the area around the poultry buildings clean and uninviting to wild birds       and animals;

•           Sanitizing the facility between flocks;

•           Cleaning equipment entering and leaving the farm;

•           Having an all-in, all-out policy regarding the placement and removal of the poultry;

•           Properly disposing of bedding material and mortalities;

•           Avoiding contact with migratory waterfowl.

Dr. Frazier reminds all poultry owners and producers to strictly adhere to the biosecurity guidelines mentioned above.  During this time, backyard flock owners should not move birds offsite or introduce new birds.

The ADAI Poultry Division is available to answer any questions concerning movement of poultry and should be notified at 334-240-6584 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593 if birds show unusual signs of disease (flu-like symptoms) or flocks experience unexplained mortalities.

The ADAI will maintain updates of suspected cases on avian influenza on their website at www.agi.alabama.gov.

See the Alabama Extension Service’s updated fact sheet on avian influenza here.

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