MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Alabama Dept. of Agriculture and Industries confirmed three findings of avian influenza in poultry in north Alabama.

The sites are in Jackson, Lauderdale and Madison counties. The flock in Lauderdale County is at commercial breeder operation; no significant mortality in the flock was reported. The other premise was a backyard flock in Madison County. Samples from both sites were sent to the Ames, Iowa-based National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) of the US Dept. of Agriculture.

Tony Frazier, DVM, state veterinarian, issued a “stop movement” for certain poultry in the state. “The health of poultry is critically important at this time,” Frazier said in a statement. “With three investigations of avian influenza in north Alabama on three separate premises we feel that the stop movement order is the most effective way to implement biosecurity for all poultry in our state.”

Animal health officials in Alabama continued testing and monitoring for avian influenza after the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected in a breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. Lincoln County borders Alabama, and some portions of Alabama are within a control zone established by the agency.

Officials said the outbreak is an animal health issue with serious implications for the state’s $15 billion poultry industry. However, there is no threat to the food supply.

Officials urged poultry producers with operations of all sizes to vigilantly monitor the health of their flocks while maintaining good biosecurity practices.

“Following the 2015 avian influenza outbreak in the Midwest, planning, preparation, and extensive biosecurity efforts were escalated in Alabama. Industry, growers, state and federal agencies and other stakeholders have worked hard to maintain a level of readiness,” Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries John McMillan said in a statement. “Our staff is committed to staying actively involved in the avian influenza situation until any threats are addressed.”