FRANKFORT, KY. – The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and federal officials released two Western Kentucky poultry sites from quarantine restrictions on May 3 after both places were cleared from the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus.
A commercial broiler chicken operation in Fulton County and a commercial turkey operation in Webster County were both restricted. The two locations were under quarantine since February.
Katie Flynn, DVM, the Kentucky state veterinarian, shared that the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed no avian influenza at each location.
“We are pleased both sites were given the clean bill of health,” said Ryan Quarles, Kentucky’s commissioner of agriculture. “From the first day we identified avian influenza in the commonwealth, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has worked closely with animal health officials at the federal and state levels to contain these incidents of avian influenza. Dr. Flynn and her team have a goal of protecting the health of livestock and poultry in the commonwealth. And that’s exactly what they did for our producers.”
During early February, the commercial operations separately alerted the KDA of an increase in poultry deaths. Testing at the Breathitt Veterinary Center and the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) confirmed the presence of HPAI in samples from both sites.
Along with quarantining, federal and state partners worked jointly on additional surveillance and testing of commercial and backyard poultry flocks in the area and established an incident command center in Fulton County to gather information. The KDA also established a 10-kilometer surveillance zone around the detected properties to determine if there were any further detections.
Both sites were depopulated and affected birds were composted on-site to decrease the potential for the spread of the disease. Once composting and decontamination procedures progressed, testing of the premises continued to determine the areas were clear of HPAI.
Both premises are now eligible to repopulate their poultry and begin operations again.
State officials said they continue to monitor for HPAI across the state.
“We are encouraged that no additional poultry premises in the commonwealth have been confirmed positive for the virus,” Flynn said. “We will remain vigilant and continue to investigate any suspected cases.”
Flynn continued to tell poultry producers from small backyards to large commercial operations to observe their flocks and review their biosecurity activities to ensure the health of their birds.