BIRD FLU: 3 locations in North Alabama suspected

BIRD FLU: 3 locations in North Alabama suspected

A statement from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries says no affected birds have entered the food chain.

Large-scale commercial poultry is Alabama's largest crop and a $15 billion annual business. Tony Frazier reminds poultry owners to be vigilant about biosecurity.

· Report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the state veterinarian's office at 615- 837-5120 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593.

The USDA also said a flock of 84,000 turkeys at a Jennie-O Turkey Store farm near Barron, Wisconsin, had been confirmed with a low pathogenic H5N2 virus.

"The outbreak we've had, so far, is not going to affect the price or availability of chicken in the market", Hess says.

The suspected strain of avian flu in Alabama and Tennessee does not pose a risk to the food supply, officials said.

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The United States Department of Agriculture today said one of the three flocks - guinea fowls in Jackson County - tested positive for avian influenza.

This H7N9 strain is of North American wild bird lineage and is the same strain of avian influenza that was previously confirmed in Tennessee in a flock of 73,500 breeding broiler chickens.

State agriculture officials issued that "stop movement" Wednesday as the investigation continues into three suspected cases of avian flu in the northern part of the state.

USDA is working with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture on the joint incident response. "We started an intensive effort of planning and getting ready [for the possibility] that we would have to deal with this".

The state veterinarian confirms that a strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) has sickened a second commercial chicken breeder flock within the existing controlled quarantined zone in Lincoln County, Tenn.

Testing is still ongoing of samples submitted to NVSL from the other two premises in north Alabama, the commercial breeder flock in Lauderdale County and the backyard flock in Madison County. Samples collected were suspect and those samples are on the way to the USDA Lab in Ames, Iowa. Results of those tests will be made public as soon as they are received, Belcher said.

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