Avian Influenza Update

White chickens farmAs of March 28, Avian influenza (AI) has been detected in five states: Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Wisconsin but has not been found in Florida poultry.

Containing any incident of AI is a state and national priority. Working in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the state of Florida is well prepared to lead efforts to eliminate an outbreak of AI should the need arise.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry, regularly monitors domestic poultry for evidence of avian influenza viruses.

Florida poultry producers and backyard farmers should take the following precautions to minimize the risk of the influenza into Florida poultry:

  • Implement strict biosecurity on all poultry and backyard farms.
  • Avoid contact with wild birds of any kind, especially waterfowl.
  • If using rendering for dead poultry disposal, verify trucks are disinfected at pickup and freezer areas are clean and clutter free.
  • Take any necessary precautions around any congregation points to prevent disease introductions back into poultry flocks.
  • Monitor all flocks for increased mortality or clinical signs consistent with AI.
  • Enroll in the National Poultry Improvement Plan.
  • Make a contingency plan for moving outdoor poultry into bio-secure housing.

There are two strains of AI, HPAI and LPAI (high pathogenic and low pathogenic).  The current outbreaks have been classified as LPAI. It is important to note that no human infections have been detected in the U.S. with this virus.  The AI strain is NOT the same as the China H7N9 virus that impacted poultry and infected humans in Asia.

Visit http://www.freshfromflorida.com/AvianInfluenza or visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website to review the latest updates and resources on Avian influenza.