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Georgia Department of Agriculture warns poultry owners to be vigilant against avian influenza
chickens
Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is warning poultry owners to maintain caution and to implement biosecurity practices to protect their flocks after cases of avian influenza have been identified in Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia. 

According to a release by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, several cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) have been identified in commercial poultry operations and a backyard flock in Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia. So far, no cases of HPAI have been identified in commercial or domestic poultry in Georgia. 

Due to the reported cases, all poultry and feathered fowl activities have been suspended in Georgia, the release said. 

“Effective immediately all exhibitions, shows, sales (flea markets, auction markets), swaps and meets pertaining tot poultry and feathered fowl in the State of Georgia are suspended until further notice,” the release said. “Notifications will be announced when listed activities can resume in Georgia.” 

The Georgia Department of Agriculture is encouraging poultry producers to implement biosecurity practices to help protect their flocks against the HPAI infection. Acceding to the release, these protective measures include: 

  • Moving all poultry with outside access indoors 

  • Implementing strict biosecurity 

  • Monitoring flocks for clinical signs consistent with avian influenza 

  • Reporting any concerns to your veterinarian, state animal health official or federal animal health official immediately

“With HPAI, birds may become quiet, not eat and drink, have diarrhea, and have discolored combs and feet,” the release said. “Birds may also die suddenly with no signs of disease.” 

Avian influenza is a reportable disease in Georgia, the release said. If you have concerns about avian influenza in birds, call the Georgia Avian Influenza hotline at 770-766-6850 or go to https://www.gapoultrylab.org/avian-influenza-hotline/

For more information about HPAI detections in the United States, go to https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/avian-influenza/2022-hpai