Alabama sees a bird flu scare affecting its huge poultry revenue. A stop movement order was issued for certain poultry on Monday, March 14, 2017, as investigations on three North Alabama premises continued in search of avian influenza.
Alabama Stop Poultry Movement Order Aims to Protect
After two state officials, Veterinarian, Dr. Tony Frazier, and Commissioner, John McMillan, consulted, the stop movement order for certain poultry was announced. Frazier particularly noted that with the critical importance of the health of fowl, they have found that the order will be the best way to “implement bio-safety for all poultry in our state.” In accordance, the doctor implored owners of poultry of the necessity to be on alert regarding biological security.
As the Department of Agriculture and Industries test flocks on the three separate premises, the Alabama investigation into the bird flu scare continues. The department takes seriously its obligation to protect. Included in the inspections, are flocks of birds from backyards, exhibitions, shows, and commercial manufacturers. In keeping with the investigations, the department has found that the stop movement order is necessary for the successfulness of keeping all safe and preventing an epidemic.
The Alabama’s HPAI Preparedness and Response Plan routinely surveys for safety in bio-safety. The most recent findings come because of regular investigations. Consequently, a flock of chickens, from a Lauderdale County breeder, is being looked at, along with a flock of birds in a backyard located in Madison County. These inquiries come following the collection of suspect samples from the Jackson County TaCo-Bet Trade Day flea market, on Sunday, March 12.
Reported results on Thursday, from the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, indicated that the guinea fowl sample from the flea market birds showed to be positive. The test results indicate low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza. Subsequently, Alabama authorities have depopulated all suspect poultry, along with quarantining the site of origin, as they continue observations.
Alabama Believes Bird Flu Cases Not Highly Dangerous
Authorities are stating that they do not see the found cases to be deadly, nor disease causing since there were no outwardly signs of birds showing illness. In keeping with due diligence, the experts do see the need to continue with investigations of farms nearby, to assure safety.
It is important to note; there is no risk to food supply since none of the affected poultry found entered the retail food chain, as the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries explicitly stated.
With the ongoing investigation in Alabama of the poultry bird flu scare, people should be aware that risks to humans’ catching the avian influenza are quite small. The H7 bird flu is known to be a virus that generally only is distributed from bird to bird. Unless in direct interaction with sick birds, it is highly unlikely that humans will be infected, reports various sources.
Alabama Bird Flu Scare Affecting Shipments
As the Alabama investigation of the poultry for bird flu scare carries on, poultry shipments from the state were limited by U.S. partners in trading on Friday. After a Thursday press release, by State of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, reported that a sample collected tested positive, three countries have restrained shipments of the birds.
The European Union, Kazakhstan, and French Polynesia have limited taking any shipments of poultry from any of the affected Alabama counties. Correspondingly, the European country of Belarus has ordered a stop on receiving any poultry from the entire state.
Poultry is a huge business in Alabama, and an occurrence of a health problem could have far-reaching consequences. The state’s poultry industry produces an annual income of approximately $15 billion and provides jobs to over 86,000 people.
Amy Belcher, an Agriculture Department spokeswoman, has stated that the issued stop movement order should not affect the commercial poultry industry. Evidently, the ban is aimed at hobbyists and backyard farmers only. Specifically, Belcher noted that the commercial farms are excluded, since, with regularly deemed testing of their birds, all poultry is considered free of disease before being shipped.
By Carol Ruth Weber
Edited by Cathy Milne
State of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries: Stop Movement Order Issued on Certain Poultry in Alabama
State of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries: Update on Premises Under Investigation for Avian Influenza in Alabama
U.S. News: Alabama Waits for U.S. Verdict on Bird Flu; Importers Limit Trade
U.S. News: Ag Says Commercial Farms Unaffected by Alabama Poultry Order
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Angela Quinn’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License