Nashville, TN – Tennessee State Veterinarian is lifting statewide poultry restrictions following the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) last month in a county backyard flock of Obion, Tennessee.
HPAI was confirmed in a backyard poultry farm in Obion County on September 15. The disease is known to be fatal to domestic poultry.
Poultry shows, exhibits and sales can now resume statewide. However, poultry owners are reminded to maintain strong biosecurity procedures, to remain vigilant and to report signs of illness in their birds.
“The coordinated response to stop the spread of HPAI in this area has worked, but we can’t let our guard down,” said Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty.
“We are grateful to our animal health technicians, poultry industry, backyard flock owners and partners for working together to protect our state’s birds. Yet HPAI is highly transmissible and we strongly encourage poultry owners to continue to do all they can to keep their flocks healthy,” Beaty said.
Although HPAI does not pose a food safety risk, no infected poultry is ever allowed to enter the food supply. Poultry and eggs are safe to eat when handled and cooked properly. The risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low. In fact, no transmission to humans was reported during the outbreak that hit commercial poultry farms in Tennessee in 2017.
Backyard and commercial poultry owners are encouraged to:
- Watch domestic birds carefully.
- Report a sudden increase in sick birds or bird deaths to the Tennessee State Veterinarian’s Office at 615.837.5120 and/or the USDA at 1.866.536.7593.
- Avoid contact with wild birds.
- Practice good biosecurity with your poultry. More information can be found online at healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov/.
- Join the National Poultry Improvement Plan (www.poultryimprovement.org), the secure broiler supply plan (www.securebroilersupply.com) and the secure egg supply plan (www.secureeggsupply.com) depending on your operation.
Information about Tennessee’s response to avian flu and resources are available online at www.tn.gov/agriculture/businesses/animals/animal-health/avian-influenza.html.