Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza detected in two more states
The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in two more states. The virus was found in a flock of commercial broiler chickens in Fulton County, Kentucky (near the Tennessee border), and a backyard flock of mixed-species birds in Fauquier County, Virginia. Another case is suspected in Webster County (northern Kentucky), but is awaiting final confirmation.
The virus was detected in the commercial chicken operation following an increase in poultry deaths. State officials have quarantined the affected premises and Kentucky state officials are working on additional surveillance and testing of commercial and backyard flocks in the area. Because Fulton County borders the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture is also working on the incident response.
Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty says they’ve begun testing commercial and backyard flocks within the surveillance zone and poultry owners should report unexpected deaths to the state veterinarian office immediately. Tennessee is a leader for primary breeders and produces more than 98% of the poultry genetics found worldwide.
This announcement comes after Indiana reported a case of HPAI in a commercial flock in Dubois (dew-boys) last week. That was the first case of HPAI in a commercial flock since 2020. Kentucky’s poultry industry ranks seventh in the nation for broiler production. In Tennessee, more than 600 family farms contribute to the state’s commercial poultry industry.
While avian influenza is deadly for domesticated chickens and turkeys, it does not present a food safety risk. However, birds from flocks that have been affected will not enter the food system.