Japan and Russia have stopped importing poultry from Arkansas due to the discovery of H7N7 avian influenza in a single commercial chicken house in Scott County, according to a state agriculture official. The infection has been contained, and the affected flock of about 9,000 birds has been euthanized, said the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission.
"It's a serious issue for the state's economy … poultry is a big business," said Livestock and Poultry Commission Director Preston Scroggin. He also said that the loss of imports to Japan and Russia "could run into the hundreds of millions" and that he hopes the countries will resume importing soon after the quarantine of all poultry within the affected area has been lifted - within 90 days.
Poultry production amounts to about 47 percent of the state's agriculture revenue, said Scroggin.
The affected poultry was on a farm that raises chickens for Tyson Foods. Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said the strain of the avian flu found in Scott County was mild and "we believe there was never any threat to human health."