Lincoln County Chickens Infected With Avian Flu

Lincoln County Chickens Infected With Avian Flu

Lincoln County Chickens Infected With Avian Flu

"We have never had a case of high path avian influenza in domestic poultry in the better part of a decade in the state of MI..." The affected flock is being depopulated to stop potential spread of illness, and officials are testing and monitoring other flocks within the quarantined area.

Alabama Agriculture Department Commissioner John McMillan said he has spoken with Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Jai Templeton and both departments are working together.

HPAI is known to be deadly for domesticated poultry - chickens, turkeys, guineas, quail, and peafowl.

Some 50 million chickens, turkeys and ducks had to be killed during the worst outbreak of avian flu in 2015, but Tennessee state agriculture officials said the current case represents a different strain.

The outbreak however is prompting South Korea to ban American poultry imports. One possibility is that the virus could have spread among wild birds that migrated through the area and infected the poultry, Schaffner said.

No people were affected during that outbreak, which was primarily of the H5N2 strain. Previous outbreaks of bird flu in Tennessee have involved a less virulent form.

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In 2014 and 2015, during a widespread outbreak of HPAI, the United States killed almost 50 million birds, mostly egg-laying hens.

While poultry producers across Europe and Asia have been grappling with bird flu in recent months, Brazil, the world's largest chicken exporter, has so far remained untouched. The Asian nation is already facing surging egg prices and has culled nearly 34 million birds amid a domestic bird-flu outbreak.

The breeders at the Tennessee facility were for the broiler flock, USDA spokeswoman Donna Karlsons said in an email.

The facility, along with about 30 other farms, are under quarantine.

"Animal health is our top priority", Charles Hatcher, Tennessee's state veterinarian, said in a statement.

"With this HPAI detection, we are moving quickly and aggressively to prevent the virus from spreading", he added, using the acronym for highly pathogenic avian influenza.

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