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Louisiana Takes Precautionary Measures Against Avian Influenza — New Case Confirmed in Arkansas

March 16, 2015

Baton Rouge, La. (March 12, 2015) – Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said, “In an effort to safeguard our commercial producers and backyard poultry enthusiasts, we’ve increased our surveillance of poultry in the state. We are also enforcing all Louisiana Board of Animal Health entry regulations.”

 

Louisiana is taking precautionary measures following the recent confirmed presence of the highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza (AI) in commercial turkey flocks in these six states: Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Washington and most recently Arkansas.

 

All poultry entering Louisiana from a state affected with AI must meet the following entry requirements:

 

  • No live poultry or poultry products may enter Louisiana from an area designated as a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) infected zone until the official quarantine has been released.
  • Poultry includes chickens, turkeys, quail, pheasants, peafowl, guineas, chukars and other partridge, grouse, ratites and domestic ducks.
  • Poultry products include hatching eggs, chicks, poults, table eggs, litter, and offal, but do not include processed poultry meat for human consumption.

 

  • All poultry entering Louisiana must originate from a National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) AI clean flock or must be tested negative for AI within 7 days of entry (by antibody or antigen capture methodologies recognized by NPIP).

 

  • All poultry shipments into Louisiana must be accompanied by an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) and proof of  NPIP certification for Salmonella Pullorum/Typhoid (P/T) clean status with NPIP Form 9-2 or NPIP negative testing within 30 days of entry
  • ICVI must state origin of shipment

 

Late Wednesday, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission confirmed the infection of H5N2 AI in a commercial turkey flock in northern Arkansas.  The flock is currently quarantined.  The Arkansas Livestock & Poultry Commission will follow strict U.S. Department of Agriculture protocols to depopulate the affected flock so that no affected birds will enter the food supply.  Additionally, surveillance and testing procedures will be implemented at properties near the affected facility to insure that the virus has not spread.   The virus is not known to cause disease in humans.

These virus strains can travel in wild birds without them appearing sick.  People should avoid contact with sick/dead poultry or wildlife. If contact occurs, wash your hands with soap and water and change clothing before having any contact with healthy domestic poultry and birds.

All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard poultry enthusiasts, should continue to practice good biosecurity, prevent contact between their birds and wild birds, and to report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to state/federal officials, either through your state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.  Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov