Bird flu threatens US poultry industry
Avian flu antibodies have been
discovered in a flock of 54,000 turkeys on a poultry farm in Virginia. The flock
will be destroyed and bans imposed.
As a result of this discovery,
Virginia has banned all live poultry sales and shows. State veterinarian Richard
Wilkes issued an order cancelling all sales and exhibitions, as well as a ban in
17 counties on the transfer and application of poultry litter. The ban remains
in effect until July 30.
Elaine Lidholm, a spokeswoman for
the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, says that the
strain poses no threat to human, but rather to the industry.
antibodies discovered in the turkey flock match those in a mild strain of avian
, but a U.S.
Department of Agriculture laboratory is conducting tests to determine whether
the antibodies are for low pathogenic or the more severe high pathogenic bird
Lidholm said it appears to be a
low pathogenic avian influenza strain, which is not as contagious as the high
pathogenic strains that can spread quickly and are more likely to kill
According to Lidholm, the turkeys
carrying the antibodies showed no signs of illness. The antibodies were
discovered during routine testing prior to slaughter last week.
Due to the risk of the low
pathogenic strain possibly converting to the highly pathogenic strain, the flock
will be destroyed.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
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