ARKANSAS, USA — According to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, a case of avian influenza, or bird flu, was confirmed in a backyard flock in Arkansas County.
This marked the third case of avian influenza in the state this year after two other confirmed cases on a poultry farm in Madison County and a farm in Pope County.
“We will continue to work with poultry growers, the industry, and our laboratory partners to protect against the spread of avian influenza,” said Arkansas Secretary of Agriculture Wes Ward. “Arkansas poultry is safe to eat, and consumers can be confident in the safety of their food.”
According to Patrick Fisk, Livestock and Poultry Division Director, they are urging poultry owners to "increase biosecurity measures on their operations in response to several reports of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild birds along the Mississippi Flyway."
The Livestock and Poultry Division strongly recommended taking the following steps for the next 30 days, especially within the Delta area, to reduce the risk of spreading the disease:
- Keep your birds indoors or covered to prevent any exposure to wild/migratory birds.
- Restrict access to sources of water that may have been contaminated by wild birds.
- Implement strict biosecurity methods to prevent exposure to wild waterfowl or their droppings.
- Limit, monitor, and record any movement of people, vehicles, or animals on or off your farm.
- Permit only essential workers and vehicles to enter the farm to limit the chances of bringing the virus from an outside source.
- Avoid visiting other poultry farms and any unnecessary travel off the farm.
- Disinfect equipment, vehicles, footwear, and other items that come into contact with flocks.
- Keep your flock away from wild or migratory birds, especially waterfowl.
- Isolate any ill animals and contact your veterinarian.
For more information on avian influenza and how to protect your poultry, click here.
Backyard flock owners who have experienced sick or unusual deaths in their flocks should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (501) 823-1746.