A flock of chickens at a commercial breeding operation in Chattooga County has tested positive for H7 avian influenza, marking the state’s first case in 2017, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) stated.
According to a press release from the GDA, it appears to be a low pathogenic strain, because the birds in the flock did not show any signs of illness.
The virus was identified during a routine pre-sale screening for the facility and was confirmed to be of the H7 serotype by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa.
The affected flock has been depopulated, although it has not yet been disclosed how many birds were in the flock. Officials are testing and monitoring other flocks within a surveillance area surrounding the farm.
“Poultry is the top sector of our No. 1 industry, agriculture, and we are committed to protecting the livelihoods of the many farm families that are dependent on it,” Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary W. Black said in the press release. “In order to successfully do that, it is imperative that we continue our efforts of extensive biosecurity.”
Poultry exhibitions, sales prohibited
The Georgia state veterinarian’s office has issued an order that prohibits poultry exhibitions and the assembling of poultry to be sold.
The order bans all poultry exhibitions, sales at regional and county fairs, festivals, swap meets, live bird markets, flea markets, and auctions. The order also prohibits the concentration, collection or assembly of poultry of all types, including wild waterfowl from one or more premises for purposes of sale. Shipments of eggs or baby chicks from National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), Avian Influenza Clean, approved facilities are not affected by this order.
Track 2017 avian flu outbreaks in North American poultry
To help poultry growers and producers monitor these outbreaks of avian influenza, WATTAgNet has again created an interactive map tracking cases confirmed by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in North America in 2017: https://batchgeo.com/map/2017-avian-influenza-outbreaks.