Poultry producers receive bird flu update

By Peter Kent

poultry examinationConcerns continue over the spread of avian influenza, the H5N1 virus called “bird flu” that has affected poultry flocks in Asia. In March, Clemson Livestock and Poultry Health officials held a day-long meeting for poultry producers to review the state’s response plan if the disease should be found here.

Coordination among producers and state and federal agencies is vital to prevent, detect, and respond in the case of a widespread flu epidemic.

“Everyone who may be involved in the bird flu situation must be prepared and know what their role is, so that if pandemic flu does hit, we can detect it quickly and respond aggressively,” said Tony Caver, state veterinarian and director of Clemson Livestock and Poultry Health programs.

This unit is authorized by the S.C. General Assembly to protect the health of the state’s livestock, poultry and companion animals, as well as humans. Their focus is on preventing disease by following standard biosecurity procedures. These include flock management, veterinary care and sanitation, and keeping flocks in enclosed facilities to prevent infection from wild birds or animals. Safety measures also limit interactions between poultry and humans, require the use of protective clothing and footwear, and limit the transfer of equipment between facilities.

For more information: Tony Caver, 803-788-2260, jcaver@clemson.edu, Julie Helm, 803-788-2260 ext. 232, jhelm@clemson.edu, or www.clemson.edu/LPH/.