Poultry farmers urged to take precautions after bird flu outbreak

Jeannette Daniel
March 11, 2017

US officials are working to determine how a Tennessee farm, which was a supplier to Tyson Foods Inc, became infected with a strain of highly pathogenic H7 bird flu.

A turkey farm in Wisconsin also reported a less serious case of bird flu, but it didn't require the culling of an entire flock.

DE poultry farmers are on alert after a recent outbreak of bird flu devastated a Tennessee farm.

Barron is less than 40 miles from Minnesota and Olson said it and Tennessee both could be visited by migrating birds coming from the same region.

The low pathogenic strain of bird flu found in Wisconsin, H5N2, is not uncommon in flocks and doesn't pose too much of a problem.

State agriculture officials released the results today. The agriculture department said none of the affected animals have entered the food chain and the risk of human infection is very low.

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HPAI is a contagious disease of poultry that causes high mortality in affected flocks. Once they leave during the fall, that's when it's possible the virus might spread down the Mid-Atlantic.

The high pathogenic strain in the Tennessee flock is much more unsafe, often fatal to the birds, so DATCP issued the advisory on Thursday to give a heads up to poultry owners that the strains are around.

At a chicken farm in Tennessee, officials destroyed tens of thousands of chickens due to an outbreak of bird flu. "We've posted a generic form on our website to help poultry owners - large and small - to develop their own flock plan in case of an emergency like this". Wild birds were less vulnerable to the disease, but when it reached a poultry flock, birds started dying immediately.

The Giles County farm housed 16,500 chickens, according to a report on the outbreak today from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). As South Carolina State Veterinarian, Parr is director of Clemson University Livestock Poultry Health (LPH). "Wild waterfowl are natural carriers of the virus and are now migrating north".

"It's important for owners to know what healthy birds look like and monitor birds for signs and symptoms of disease", Parr said.

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