KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A statewide poultry restriction has been lifted following the Tennessee State Veterinarian identifying the detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in a backyard flock in September.
HPAI was confirmed in a backyard flock of poultry in Obion County on Sept. 15. According to the state, the disease is deadly to domesticated fowl. The site impacted remains under quarantine, but movement permits are no longer required for poultry moving into or out of the control zone of 10 km (6.2 miles) surrounding the site. In addition, poultry shows, exhibitions, and sales can resume statewide.
Poultry owners are reminded to “maintain strong biosecurity procedures, remain vigilant, and report signs of illness in their birds.” Signs of the illness range from sneezing, coughing and ruffled feathers to sudden and high numbers of bird losses.
“The coordinated response to stop the spread of HPAI in this area worked, but we can’t let our guard down,” Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “We are grateful to our animal health technicians, the poultry industry, backyard flock owners, and our partners for working together to protect our state’s birds. Still, HPAI is highly transmissible and we strongly encourage poultry owners to continue doing all they can to ensure good health in their flocks.”
The state encourages owners of backyard and commercial poultry flocks to:
- Closely observe domesticated birds.
- Report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the Tennessee State Veterinarian’s office at 615- 837-5120 and/or USDA at 1-866-536-7593.
- Prevent contact with wild birds.
- Enroll in the National Poultry Improvement Plan, the Secure Broiler Supply Plan, and the Secure Egg Supply Plan
According to the state, the risk of human infection with avian influenza during poultry outbreaks is very low. In fact, during the 2017 outbreak that affected commercial poultry farms in Tennessee, no transmission to humans was reported.