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Bird flu case identified in Arkansas flock



Little Rock, Arkansas – An Arkansas farm has reported an instance of a dangerous illness that is impacting the production of chickens.

A farm in Madison County has been linked to an epidemic of the avian flu, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture reported on Friday in the late afternoon. Together with the United States Department of Agriculture, the department’s Livestock and Poultry Division found the epidemic.

The airborne avian flu virus spreads swiftly among chickens. The chicken meat and egg products are unaffected, according to the Arkansas department.

“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.“Arkansas poultry is safe to eat, and consumers can be confident in the safety of their food.”

“The farm is under quarantine to stop the spread of avian influenza to other flocks in the state,” Arkansas State Veterinarian John Nilz said. “The birds on the affected farm were depopulated to prevent the spread of disease and will not enter the food system.”

Since 2015, there has not been an avian flu outbreak in Arkansas. The largest outbreak in American history, which killed 50.5 million birds, occurred in 2015.

“This finding is the first case of HPAI in commercial poultry in Arkansas since 2015,” Arkansas Department of Agriculture Livestock and Poultry Division Director Patrick Fisk said. “Positive test results were confirmed by the USDA National Veterinary Service Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.”

All flock owners are urged by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture to adhere to strict biosecurity procedures.

One of the top three broiler-producing states in the US is Arkansas, according to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.