MADISON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — UPDATE: A spokesperson for the Arkansas Department of Agriculture told KNWA/FOX24 that there are no new cases of avian influenza in the state and that the infected flock was “depopulated.”
“The flock that tested positive for avian influenza in Madison County has been depopulated. The farm is currently going through the cleaning and disinfecting phase. There are no new cases of avian influenza in the state,” the spokesperson said.
MADISON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A case of avian influenza has been confirmed at a Madison County poultry farm.
According to a release from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture (ADA), there is no public health concern and that it does not affect poultry or egg products.
The ADA and the USDA are working to contain the situation, including sampling and quarantining nearby poultry flocks, the release said.
“So we depopulate all birds that are on the farm,” said Patrick Fisk, Director of Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Division. “Regardless of if they’re positive or not because of the easy spread of that virus.”
“We have taken immediate action to contain this disease and will continue to work with poultry growers, the industry, and our laboratory partners to protect against its spread,” Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward said.
The case was confirmed after an investigation conducted by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Livestock and Poultry Division in collaboration with USDA Veterinary Services and the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory.
The department has set up quarantine zones around the area.
“Nothing moves in or out without permits. We have another zone that’s a little bit longer that we call a surveillance zone. That zone is where we test every poultry population in that area,” said Fisk.
The ADA says that the affected area is around 25 miles surrounding the infected flock. The boundaries in this case are Gateway at the northernmost point, Osage at the easternmost point, Combs at the southernmost point and Harmon at the westernmost point.
Poultry from the farm tested positive for “highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza,” the release said.
According to Fisk when birds are depopulated prices you pay at the grocery store could go up.
“That’s why egg prices were so high last year is because the majority of those birds depopulated were egg layers. So, that was a reduction of supply and demand. so to speak,” said Fisk.
Fisk stated the virus is so contagious it’s vital for all poultry farmers to protect their flocks this time of year.