Bird flu outbreaks should not affect price of chicken in Alabama

Toni Houston
March 17, 2017

Tens of thousands of chickens have been destroyed at a Tennessee chicken farm due to a bird flu outbreak and 30 other farms within a six-mile radius have been quarantined.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries 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 experiences unexplained mortalities.

Hess says it's something the state is constantly monitoring for and has stepped up efforts since outbreaks in other states have been announced.

"The health of poultry is critically important at this time, "Frazier said".

Cases of avian influenza have been confirmed in Tennessee, and are being investigated in the north Alabama counties of Jackson, Lauderdale and Madison.

"Our people went door to door", Alabama agriculture department spokeswoman Amy Belcher said Wednesday.

The affected Tennessee breeder supplies the food company Tyson Foods Inc.

The order restricting movement of poultry in the state applies to bird traveling to flea markets, auctions and any types of exhibitions, according to Ray Hilburn, associate director of the Alabama Poultry & Egg Association.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has created a website to assist backyard flock owners with maintaining healthy birds and to provide answers for avian influenza control. The results from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa states that sample tested positive for low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza (LPAI). Tony Frazier said in a statement issued with the order on Tuesday. Alabama officials are working closely with the Tennessee and federal agriculture officials.

The advisory comes after the confirmed detection of H7N9 highly pathogenic avian influenza at a commercial poultry facility in Lincoln County March 4. Agriculture and Industries officials are also reminding all people with domestic flocks, from backyard operations to commercial producers, to use proper biosecurity practices to protect their birds.

"We know migratory birds are carrying this", Auburn University poultry science professor Ken Macklin said of the avian flu on Tuesday.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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