The Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission found no new cases of avian influenza after concluding its second round of testing on July 9. Scientists and veterinarians have been conducting tests on chickens near Boles, Ark., ever since chickens on a farm there showed the presence of antibodies consistent with exposure to a low-pathogen form of H7N7 avian influenza during the week of June 17.
All birds on the farm, which was operated by an integrator for Tyson Foods, were euthanized and all birds within a 6.2-mile radius of the farm were placed under quarantine while testing took place. No new cases of avian influenza were found during the first round of tests, either.
"We're steadily moving along with the decontamination of the farm, and right now we feel pretty good," said Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission Director Preston Scroggin.
Scroggin said the testing went beyond the quarantine zone, which he expects to be reduced in size soon. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with the Arkansas state veterinarian, might pull that zone in during the week of July 15.