48,000 Birds Killed at Alabama Farm Due to Avian Flu Outbreak
In a devastating blow to the poultry industry, nearly 48,000 birds have been culled at a chicken farm in north Alabama after an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian flu. The farm has been placed under strict quarantine measures following confirmed positive samples from the flock.
Highly pathogenic avian flu, or HPAI, is highly contagious among birds but is considered to pose a low risk to humans. Importantly, the virus does not affect the safety of the food supply as infected birds do not enter the market.
To contain the spread of the disease, all poultry within a 10-kilometer radius of the affected farm are currently undergoing testing and close monitoring. So far, no other flocks in the area have reported an increase in deaths.
Authorities are urging both commercial and backyard poultry operators to remain vigilant and closely monitor the health of their birds. The necessity of implementing strict biosecurity measures, such as keeping birds enclosed without access to wild birds or other flocks, is being emphasized to prevent further outbreaks.
Amidst this alarming situation, HPAI has also been confirmed at an upland gamebird farm in Chilton County, with nearly 296,500 birds affected. It remains unclear whether the cases at both farms are connected. Federal and state officials are actively conducting additional surveillance and testing in the areas affected by these outbreaks.
The United States has a robust avian flu surveillance program in place to promptly detect and control the spread of such diseases. Symptoms of HPAI in birds include a sudden increase in deaths, respiratory issues, diarrhea, lack of energy and appetite, and physical swelling and discoloration.
Owners of commercial poultry farms and backyard flocks are now being strongly urged to ramp up their biosecurity measures. These measures can include regular vehicle and equipment cleaning, limiting unnecessary visitors, sanitizing shoes, and changing clothes immediately after contact with birds.
It is vital to report any cases of sick or dead wild birds to the Alabama Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, while sick or dead domestic birds and poultry must be reported to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ Poultry Unit.
Further information on HPAI and the latest detections can be found at the provided link, ensuring that everyone has access to the necessary resources and instructions to combat this ongoing outbreak.
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