Alabama gives chicken farms all-clear after extensive bird flu tests

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Chicken and poultry lovers can get back to business as usual after the Alabama Department of Agriculture announces an all-clear on the state’s bird flu threat.

A press release from the Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan says extensive tests reveal there is no new detection of avian influenza within the affected areas.

Alabama sent out a state-wide order to halt all commercial poultry production back in March after bird flu was found infecting at least three commercial chicken farms.

The statement says effective Friday, “all poultry exhibitions, sales at fairs, festivals, swap meets, exotic sales and live bird markets, flea markets and auctions are allowed to resume their normal operating routines.”

Alabama investigators also consulted State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier in the decision to halt poultry production to be sold in Alabama.

“We are quite confident the avian influenza threat is over. We are in the recovery phase at this time and are working to enhance our response capabilities should we face another outbreak in the future,” says Dr. Frazier.

Commissioner McMillan says, “We appreciate the cooperation of commercial poultry producers, backyard flock owners, industry representatives, department staff members, USDA personnel and so many others who went above and beyond. This situation was handled with professionalism and great dedication to the betterment of poultry in Alabama.”

Even though the disease threat has diminished, Dr. Frazier encourages commercial poultry producers and backyard flock owners to observe their birds closely and to be vigilant in practicing strict biosecurity measures. These include: 

•        Isolating poultry from other animals
•        Wearing clothing designated for use only at the poultry house
•        Minimizing access to people and sanitized 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.  The ADAI Poultry Division is available to answer any questions concerning 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.

 

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