State agriculture officials preparing for possibility of bird flu

State agriculture officials preparing for possibility of bird flu


This year’s massive bird flu outbreak never reached Tennessee, but state officials aren’t taking any chances.

Agriculture officials were at the Fairgrounds Nashville on Thursday examining birds arriving for poultry shows before the start of the Tennessee State Fair on Friday.

Staff were testing for high path avian influenza, or bird flu as it is commonly called. The disease has become the costliest animal health disaster in the U.S.

This year’s outbreak started on the West Coast and moved to the Midwest, affecting 50 million birds. The last case was detected in mid-June.

Although the initial outbreaks are over and bird flu was never detected in Tennessee, the state is still preparing.

“The secretary of agriculture and also our own commissioner have asked us to be prepared for ‘worst-case scenario’ this fall,” said Dr. Charlie Hatcher, the state veterinarian. “Which could be as many as 10 to 20 states affected by migratory waterfowl as they come south and could, with pinpoint introductions, introduce the virus into our bird population.”

Hatcher added if bird flu is detected in a surrounding state, all fairs and poultry exhibitions in Tennessee would be closed.

As with most viruses and diseases, Hatcher said early detection is key in determining if birds may have avian flu.

Anyone who sees their birds suffering from respiratory illness should contact state agriculture officials immediately.

They are also advised to not allow people on their property who have visited other bird farms. Visitors should disinfect when they come onto your land and when they leave. Visitors should also wear disposable shoe covers if they are going to be walking around your property.

Copyright 2015 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Source: NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) Channel 4
State agriculture officials preparing for possibility of bird flu


Add Comments


You may also like...