Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan, in consultation with State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier, has officially rescinded the order prohibiting poultry exhibitions and the assembly of poultry to be sold in Alabama.
This means as of April 14, 2017, all poultry exhibitions, sales at fairs, festivals, swap meets, exotic sales and live bird markets, flea markets and auctions are allowed to resume their normal operating routines. That order was made on March 14 after three potential cases of avian influenza were identified.
“We are quite confident the avian influenza threat is over. We are in the recovery phase at this time and are working to enhance our response capabilities should we face another outbreak in the future,” said Dr. Frazier.
The determination was made after weeks of extensive testing of both commercial and backyard poultry flocks within the surveillance zones established in Alabama were done and no new detections of the virus were made.
McMillan said, “We appreciate the cooperation of commercial poultry producers, backyard flock owners, industry representatives, department staff members, USDA personnel and so many others who went above and beyond. This situation was handled with professionalism and great dedication to the betterment of poultry in Alabama.”
Even though the disease threat has diminished, Dr. Frazier encourages commercial poultry producers and backyard flock owners to observe their birds closely and to be vigilant in practicing strict biosecurity measures. These include:
- Isolating poultry from other animals
- Wearing clothing designated for use only at the poultry house
- Minimizing access to people and sanitized equipment
- Keeping the area around the poultry buildings clean and uninviting to wild birds and animals
- Sanitizing the facility between flocks
- Cleaning equipment entering and leaving the farm
- Having an all-in, all-out policy regarding the placement and removal of the poultry
- Properly disposing of bedding material and mortalities
- Avoiding contact with migratory waterfowl
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.