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Cultivator — July 10, 2015

Poultry Farmers Keeping Tabs On HPAI

The last report of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the U.S. was June 17, but Alabama poultry farmers are concerned about the potential effects of wild bird migrations this fall. HPAI has been responsible for the death of more than 48 million birds since last December.

It’s been weeks since new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) were reported in the U.S.

However, farmers and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials are concerned about fall when wild birds migrate. On July 2, the USDA announced plans to increase HPAI monitoring by collecting 41,000 samples from wild birds through March 2016.

“The cause of the HPAI outbreak is unknown, but officials suspect the disease was brought in by wild birds and spread by people and equipment moving among farms,” said Guy Hall, Alabama Farmers Federation Poultry Division director. “As these birds begin moving south through the major flyways, there’s a threat of the disease spreading again.”

USDA suggested biosecurity measures include disinfecting poultry houses between flocks, keeping poultry away from water sources used by wild birds, providing clean clothing for employees and permitting only essential workers and vehicles on farms.

“Our modern housing system and increased biosecurity protocols at the farm should help protect flocks from the disease,” Hall said.

For more information on HPAI, visit tinyurl.com/USDA-hpai.


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