Biosec Agriculture

Two States Report New Avian Influenza Cases

Tennessee and Nebraska have confirmed two new cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in backyard flocks. Tennessee is the 40th state to have a flock test positive for bird flu as the disease resurges in certain parts of the nation. For Nebraska, this is its ninth case since April.

According to the USDA, there have been about 25 outbreaks, 12 cases in commercial flocks and 13 were found in backyard flocks, reported this month. Since March, over 40 million birds have died or been culled due to avian influenza.

Both flocks were humanely depopulated and disposed of in an approved USDA manner. Birds from both flocks will not enter the food system. In Obion County, Tennessee, and Dawes County, Nebraska, the department of agriculture will establish a 6.2-mile surveillance zone, as is USDA policy, around the affected premises because avian influenza can survive for weeks in contaminated environments.

Poultry producers within the surveillance zones should be aware of the signs and symptoms of avian influenza. The virus can spread from flock to flock, including wild birds, manure, clothing and shoes, and contact with infected birds. But the virus frequently spreads by the birds’ nasal and eye secretions.

Producers should monitor their birds for symptoms of avian influenza, such as a decrease in water and grain consumption; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; nasal discharge, coughing, sneezing; incoordination; and diarrhea. The virus can also cause sudden death in birds even if they aren’t showing any other symptoms.

Both Tennessee and Nebraska’s departments of agriculture advise poultry producers and owners of backyard flocks to practice strict biosecurity measures. If producers suspect signs of avian influenza in their birds, they should report it to their state department of agriculture.

More information for producers can be found at

by Courtney Love in the Successful Farming


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