HPAI confirmed in a Missouri commercial chicken flock


HPAI confirmed in a Missouri commercial chicken flock

Missouri’s Director of Agriculture says they’ve established a control and surveillance zone in Southeastern Missouri following the confirmation of highly pathogenic avian influenza in a flock of commercial broiler chickens.

Chris Chinn tells Brownfield the affected premises are under quarantine and the birds will be depopulated.   “There are approximately 240,000 birds,” she says.  “There are six barns that sit together where the positive test was, and another six barns close by.  Both sites will be depopulated to be preventative.  And to make sure we can eradicate this disease, because that our goal eradication.”

She says additional surveillance and testing are being done in the 6.2-mile radius around the affected flock.

Chinn says the department is encouraging producers to ramp up their biosecurity.  “We want to keep wild birds away from the flock,” she says.  “We don’t want to allow your birds, if you are a farmer to access any water sources that would be available for migratory birds, such as a pond or a lake.  Don’t share equipment between farms, and make sure you have dedicated clothing and footwear when you go to work with your birds.”

HPAI does not present an immediate public health concern and no human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

Chinn says producers should monitor their flocks for signs of the virus which include: a decrease in water or feed consumption, coughing and sneezing, quietness in the flock, decrease in egg production, or a sudden increase in deaths in a flock.

She says if producers think their birds might be infected, they should contact their local veterinarian or reach out to the Animal Health Division at the Missouri Department of Agriculture at 573-751-3377 or Animal.Health@mda.mo.gov.

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AUDIO: Missouri Director of Agriculture, Chris Chinn