Monday, 11 December, 2017

Alabama agriculture officials confirm bird flu case in Jackson County

Arthur Frazier | 17 March, 2017, 01:41

The move comes after one neighboring state, Tennessee, reported bird flu last week near the Alabama border. 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. "The health of poultry is critically important at this time", said Dr. Frazier.

Frazier said the cases were still only suspected flu infections and needed to be confirmed by the USDA. No other flocks have shown signs of illness.

"Wild birds can carry this strain of avian influenza".

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working closely with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) on a joint incident response.

McMillan said protocols include growers "depopulating" chickens that may be exposed to the avian flu virus, and agriculture officials setting up a 6-mile quarantine zone around the property that monitors movement in and out. No affected poultry entered the food chain.

This announcement comes on the same day the Tennessee Department of Agriculture confirmed a second case of highly pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza in a Lincoln County commercial breeder flock.

Heavy Lake-Effect Snow
Since the first of the year, what rare flurries the city has seen have added up to less than an inch of snow. Significant snow risk and limited excessive cold risk are the weather hazards expected for Tuesday.

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

The order prohibits sales and exhibitions of all types of poultry - including waterfowl and exotic birds - at regional and county fairs, festivals and swap meets, according to a statement today from Commissioner John McMillan.

Alabama officials say they are keeping a close watch on the avian flu outbreaks that have been reported in Alabama and Tennessee.

No significant mortality was found among the birds in the Lauderdale County commercial operation, Alabama's agriculture department said.

Samples from all three sites were sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

ยท Report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the state veterinarian's office at 615- 837-5120 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593. The state is the country's second-largest producer of broilers (chickens bred and raised for meat), and poultry operations employ 85,000 people.

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