Bird Flu Cases Probed in One of the Largest US Chicken States
The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries has issued an order prohibiting movement of some poultry within the state while officials conduct tests on three sites.
Amy Belcher, a spokeswoman for the Alabama Department of Agriculture, said surveillance is routinely done on commercial chicken operations, as well as on backyard flocks and other places where chickens are present.
Samples from all three sites were sent to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.
"The health of poultry is critically important at this time, "Frazier said".
Alabama agriculture officials are investigating suspected avian flu outbreaks at three locations in the northern part of the state, close to where H7N9 outbreaks-one highly pathogenic and one low pathogenic-were recently reported on two Tennessee farms.
Dr. Tony Frazier, Alabama's state veterinarian, and John McMillan, state commissioner, have ordered a stop movement for certain poultry in the state. The other premise was a backyard flock in Madison County, Ala.
The most recent investigation began Sunday after USDA poultry technicians collected samples at the TaCo-Bet Trade Day flea market in Scottsboro in Jackson County.
The ADAI said it and the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are working together closely on a joint incident response. He also said the birds involved were waterfowl and consisted primarily of ducks and geese.
The state of Tennessee has confirmed another case of avian influenza, a low pathogenic variant. No affected poultry entered the food chain.
"Following the 2015 avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest, planning, preparation, and extensive biosecurity efforts were escalated in Alabama".
The agriculture department has been preparing for flu to pop up since cases were confirmed in Lincoln and Giles counties in Tennessee.
Alabama is the second largest poultry producer in the country.
South Korea banned imports of all US poultry following the Tennessee bird-flu findings, according to its agriculture ministry.