Avian flu plans in place

By Peter Kent

South Carolina poultry industry and Clemson animal health personnel are taking precautions to keep avian flu out of the state, said Tony Caver, director of Clemson’s Livestock-Poultry Health programs, the regulatory agency that enforces state and federal animal health laws. 

“Avian influenza was a concern for the poultry industry long before the Asian strain appeared,” said Caver. “We have containment plans in place should an outbreak occur. These include routine monitoring, quarantines, surveillance zones, depopulation, disposal, cleaning, disinfecting and finally repopulating the farms.” 

Several firewalls exist to protect U.S. flocks from “type Z” of H5N1, the Asian form of the disease. Biosecurity practices call for keeping poultry in sheltered housing where they have no contact with wild birds or other livestock and only limited contact with humans.

In addition, the U.S. has never imported poultry products from Southeast Asia, and since the Asian flu crisis was identified, importation of live birds or other potential carriers of the disease is prohibited.

For more information: www.clemson.edu/LPH/ > News and Updates.