Avian flu threat closes poultry shows and sales in Alabama

Posted March 17, 2017

A third commercial poultry breeding operation in Tennessee has tested positive for avian flu. Officials haven't said what avian flu strains are involved and said samples were on their way for testing at the NVSL in Iowa. In addition, the concentration, collection, or assembly of poultry of all types, including waterfowl and wild and exotic birds, from one or more premises, at a private or public place, for purposes of sale is also prohibited.

The state veterinarian confirms that a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has sickened a second commercial chicken breeder flock within the existing controlled quarantined zone in Lincoln County, Tenn.

The most recent investigation began after USDA poultry technicians collected samples Sunday at the TaCo-Bet Trade Day flea market in Scottsboro in Jackson County.

"The health of poultry is critically important at this time", state veterinarian Dr.

The affected Tennessee breeder supplies the food company Tyson Foods Inc. "Industry, growers, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders have worked hard to maintain a level of readiness", John McMillan, Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, said in the release.

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USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) continues to work closely with the ADAI on a joint incident response. Stopping the movement of birds is the most practical way of stopping the spread of the virus, however, the fact that wild birds, including many waterfowl, are hosts for the virus makes it hard to keep domestic flocks from any intermingling with wild birds. Tony Frazier said in a statement issued with the order on Tuesday.

Alabama has been on alert since a 2015 outbreak in the Midwest.

Alabama officials said they suspected that poultry at three sites in the state were infected with the virus, about a week after some 90,500 chickens were culled over infections at two commercial operations across the border in Tennessee.

On March 8, a commercial poultry flock in Giles County tested positive for low pathogenic avian influenza. The spread of chickens due to the growing popularity of backyard flocks partly explains the need for a statewide ban on bird movement until the situation is clarified, officials said.