Title: Avian Flu Outbreak in Alabama Claims Lives of Thousands of Birds
In a devastating blow to the poultry industry, a chicken farm in north Alabama has reported the deaths of nearly 48,000 birds due to the highly pathogenic avian flu (HPAI). The commercial pullet farm, located in Marshall County, has since been placed under quarantine in an effort to contain the outbreak.
Although the virus is highly contagious among birds, authorities have reassured the public that it poses a low risk to humans and is not a threat to food safety. Poultry within a 10-kilometer radius of the affected farm are currently undergoing testing and close monitoring to prevent any further spread of the disease.
This ominous incident follows the confirmation of HPAI in an upland gamebird farm in Chilton County, indicating a worrisome trend of avian flu outbreaks in Alabama. To address the situation, state and federal officials have intensified surveillance efforts and testing in the surrounding areas, aiming to swiftly identify and contain any potential outbreaks.
Birds afflicted with HPAI exhibit a range of symptoms, including increased mortality rates, respiratory issues, diarrhea, loss of energy, and decreased egg production. With these telltale signs, proactive measures are being urged by the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries to defend the commercial poultry industry and backyard flock owners against the virus.
Enhanced biosecurity measures are being recommended to limit the spread of HPAI. These measures include thoroughly cleaning vehicles and equipment used in the industry, minimizing visitors to poultry farms, and implementing foot baths to sanitize footwear. By strictly adhering to these protocols, poultry farmers can help ensure the safety of their flocks.
The Alabama Department of Natural Resources and Conservation is encouraging the public to report any sick or dead wild birds to assist in monitoring the situation. Similarly, reports of sick or deceased domestic birds and poultry should be directed to the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries’ Poultry Unit.
As authorities work tirelessly to contain the outbreak and safeguard the poultry industry, vigilance and cooperation from all stakeholders will play a crucial role in minimizing the impact of this avian flu outbreak in Alabama.
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