A suspected case of avian influenza has been identified in poultry in Arkansas, the USDA said on March 10.
"There is a suspect case in Arkansas, but testing is ongoing," USDA spokeswoman Lyndsay Cole said.
Arkansas producers have been on alert for the virus since Minnesota and Missouri confirmed cases of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza during the past week. The Minnesota case was the first in the Mississippi flyway, a migratory route along the Mississippi River that also includes Missouri and Arkansas.
A location of the suspected case has not been given, and USDA has not revealed what type of poultry flock was affected. However, citing information from the Texas Poultry Federation, Sanderson Farms Chief Financial Officer Mike Cockrell told Reuters the suspected case was found in a turkey flock.
The confirmed avian influenza cases in Minnesota and Missouri were also in turkey flocks.
Marvin Childers, president of The Poultry Federation, which serves the states of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, in response to the Missouri cases, stated that all integrators and poultry companies have been notified of the outbreak and have stepped up additional biosecurity efforts.
“Our poultry and egg companies give serious consideration and take immediate preventative steps whenever an avian influenza outbreak is confirmed,” said Childers. “We want the public and our local communities to know that all efforts are being taken by poultry companies to assist the government agencies to contain and eliminate the disease.”