December 1, 2023

Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu Detected at Alabama Chicken Farm Leads to Quarantine and Bird Culling

48,000 Birds Killed at North Alabama Chicken Farm Due to Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu

In a devastating blow to the poultry industry, it has been reported that 48,000 birds have been culled at a chicken farm in north Alabama due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu (HPAI). The farm, located in Marshall County, has been put under quarantine following positive test results from samples taken from the flock.

HPAI is highly contagious among birds but is considered to be of low risk to humans and does not pose a threat to food safety. Despite this reassurance, poultry within a 10-kilometer radius of the affected farm are being closely monitored and tested to prevent the further spread of the virus.

Fortunately, no other flocks in the area have experienced an increase in deaths, providing hope that the HPAI outbreak may be contained. Nevertheless, Alabama’s Agriculture Commissioner and State Veterinarian are emphasizing the crucial need for strict biosecurity measures to prevent additional cases.

In a separate incident, HPAI has also been confirmed at an upland gamebird farm in Chilton County, affecting nearly 296,500 birds. At this time, it remains unclear whether the cases at both farms are connected, but federal and state officials have implemented surveillance and testing to determine the extent of the outbreak.

Symptoms of HPAI in birds include a sudden increase in deaths, respiratory issues, diarrhea, and decreased egg production. Given this, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries is urging the commercial poultry industry and backyard flocks to increase biosecurity measures. These measures include cleaning vehicles and equipment, limiting unnecessary visitors, and sanitizing shoes in clean foot baths.

It is crucial for the public to report any sick or dead wild birds to the Alabama Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, while sick or dead domestic birds and poultry should be reported to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ Poultry Unit.

For more information on HPAI or any detections, the public is encouraged to visit the provided link, which will offer updates, resources, and guidelines to combat the virus.