MONTGOMERY - Yesterday, the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) confirmed that low pathogenic H7N9 avian influenza was found in a Cullman County commercial breeder flock. Last night, that flock was destroyed, according to the ADAI.
Officials are still not confirming the exact location of the flock; however, the ADAI's Daniel Autrey said today, "The flock was in the northeastern part of Cullman County."
Farmers, breeders or other concerned citizens can contact Autrey directly at 334-240-7100 to see if their property falls within the 6.2-mile control zone around the affected farm.
Autrey says that, not including the birds destroyed in Cullman County last night, approximately 42,000 have been depopulated in Alabama so far. That includes farms in Lauderdale and Pickens Counties and backyard flocks in Madison County.
State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier reminds poultry producers and backyard flock owners to observe their birds closely and to be vigilant about 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 unsanitized 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
Frazier reminds all poultry owners and producers to strictly adhere to the biosecurity guidelines mentioned above. During this time, backyard flock owners should refrain from moving birds offsite or introducing new birds. The ADAI Poultry Division is available to answer any questions concerning movement of poultry and should be notified at 334-240-6584 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593 if birds show unusual signs of disease (flu-like symptoms) or flocks experience unexplained mortalities.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries will maintain updates of suspected cases of avian influenza on our website: www.agi.alabama.gov.
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System has created a website to assist backyard flock owners with maintaining healthy birds and to provide answers for avian influenza control. It can be found at www.AlabamaAvianInfluenza.com.
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