Information recently released by the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission about China banning poultry from the state was incorrect, the commission's director said. As of June 27, poultry exports from Arkansas still had access to China after chickens at a farm in Boles, Ark., showed the presence of antibodies consistent with exposure to a low-pathogen form of H7N7 avian influenza during the week of June 17.
"That was misinformation, and I'll take my licks on that," said Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission director, Preston Scroggin.
Scroggin said the commission received two different pieces of information from different sources, and the incorrect version was released. Accounts of export bans based off of the incorrect release were reported by various news organizations.
Toby Moore, vice president of communications for the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, also confirmed that China had not imposed a ban on Arkansas poultry.
However, reports that Arkansas poultry was banned from Japan and Russia are correct, Scroggin said. Hong Kong has also banned poultry from Scott County, Ark., where the chickens tested for avian influenza were located.
All birds in the flock where the birds tested positive have been euthanized, and all poultry within a 6.2-mile radius of the area of infection tested negative for avian influenza, Scroggin said. Crews from the Arkansas commission and also the U.S. Department of Agriculture will remain on the scene to assess the situation, which appears to be under control.
"We feel like we're well on our way with getting this thing over with," said Scroggin. "We're still monitoring, but so far we feel good. I just want to get this over with and let them get back to shipping chickens."