Sunday, 30 April, 2017

BIRD FLU IS BACK: USDA Burns 73500 Chickens With Avian Flu

Bird flu detected in chicken breeding facility in Tennessee USDA Confirms Bird Flu Found at Tennessee Chicken Farm
Sammy Stanley | 07 March, 2017, 00:34

The avian flu viruses in Tennessee were found to be the highly pathogenic H7 strain, he added.

It's important to contain the disease's spread, especially as Tennessee shares borders with several large chicken-meat producing states, Bloomberg points out, including Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas, and North Carolina.

Tennessee's Department of Agriculture declined to name the breeder and would only say it is located in the state's Lincoln County, just west of Chattanooga. Farmers are starting to get anxious again, after a highly contagious strain of the flu has been found in a commercial chicken flock in Tennessee.

Tyson Foods said the farm is owned by an individual who contracts with the company.

Tennessee state officials have quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the property were depopulated to prevent the spread of the virus. The losses of the birds pushed USA egg prices to a record high and prompted trading partners to ban imports of American poultry.

"With this positive H7NX finding, there is an urgent need for all poultry producers to be vigilant in maintaining biosecurity on farms, particularly wild bird control at this time of year", said Dr. John Glisson, vice president of research programs for USPOULTRY based in Tucker, Ga. Previous outbreaks have led some importing nations to restrict shipments of poultry from affected areas.

HPAI bird flu was last found in a commercial turkey flock in IN in January 2016.

The strain of bird flu involved is the same that struck Midwestern poultry farms in 2015, hitting Minnesota and Iowa particularly hard and killing 48 million birds. The farm in Tennessee's Lincoln County, along with almost 30 other farms in 6.2 mile radius, has been placed under quarantine. Shows were cancelled in 2015 amid concerns raised during a national avian flu outbreak. The Asian nation is already facing surging egg prices and has culled nearly 34 million birds amid a domestic bird-flu outbreak.

The resumption of the USA import ban means South Korea can import chicken meat from Brazil, Chile, Australia, Canada, the Philippines and Thailand. So far, no other flocks have seen an increase in deaths. A quarantine has also been put in place around the farm.

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