WattAgNet: US poultry industry urges caution against avian flu


Industries representing the US poultry industry stress the need for increased biosecurity after highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected in Tennessee.

With highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) present in commercial poultry for the first time since early 2016, U.S. poultry associations are calling for increased attention to biosecurity practices in order to prevent disease transmission.

On March 5, the disease was detected in a Tyson Foods Inc. breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. The company said the incident is isolated to one farm and testing is occurring within a six-mile radius of the farm. On March 6, Wisconsin's Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said a low pathogenic strain of the disease – H5N2 – was detected in a commercial turkey flock in Barron County, Wisconsin.

In a statement, the National Chicken Council (NCC) said the depopulation of the Tennessee farm’s 73,500 birds is already complete. It emphasized that the disease is not foodborne and will not enter the food supply. The Wisconsin farm's 84,000 birds are being quarantined and monitored, but not depopulated. They will only be marketed if found to be free of the disease.

“The U.S. has the most robust monitoring and surveillance programs in the world – and detailed plans are in place and being executed at the federal and state level to control spreading among flocks and eliminate the virus completely, “ Dr. Ashley Peterson, NCC senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, said in a press release.

The industry group is encouraging its members to maintain heightened biosecurity procedures and will work with government and trading partners to minimize disruption to export…

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