Bird Flu

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama officials have confirmed bird flu in two poultry flocks, just a week after three commercial breeders had to kill their chickens across the state line in Tennessee.

The state veterinarian announced that chickens are under quarantine after testing positive for the disease at a commercial breeding operation in Pickens County near the Mississippi line.

Dr. Tony Frazier’s statement says the disease also was found in a backyard flock in Madison County, near the Tennessee line.

Agriculture officials say this strain of avian flu poses no risk to humans and has not entered the food chain.

The Alabama Poultry and Egg Association says poultry is Alabama’s largest agriculture sector, generating about $15 billion in annual revenues and employing more than 86,000 people.

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U.S. bird flu cases have local farmers on guard

Delaware poultry farmers are on alert after a recent outbreak of bird flu devastated a Tennessee farm.

More than 73,000 birds on a southern Tennessee farm that supplies chickens for Tyson Foods were killed after federal officials identified a case of deadly bird flu in the flock.

For Delaware poultry farmers, this is a wake up call that the virus could be nearby.

“The Delaware Department of Agriculture has really been preparing for Avian Influenza since the last time we had it back in 2004 and we haven’t stopped preparing because the chicken industry is such a large part of our economic impact in Delaware,” said Stacey Hofmann, a spokeswoman for the department.

Hofmann said the path migratory birds take through Tennessee is not the same as the one birds use in Delaware, but they eventually meet at their Arctic breeding grounds. Once they leave during the fall, that’s when it’s possible the virus might spread down the Mid-Atlantic.

State officials and industry groups say farmers should remember to wear disposable clothing inside chicken houses to prevent the spread of the virus. Hofmann said farmers should also limit the amount of visitors to the chicken houses.

A turkey farm in Wisconsin also reported a less serious case of bird flu, but it didn’t require the culling of an entire flock.

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