After the outbreak of avian flu at a poultry farm near Menlo last month, Georgia Agricultural officials issued a “stop movement” order for all poultry in the state. Earlier this week that order was rescinded.
Ag officials destroyed all of the birds at the farm in Chattooga County and sanitized the houses. Then for the next several weeks, officials took samples from the area to make sure that there were no signs of the “bird flu” left on the farm.
University of Georgia Poultry Science officials say that while it may seem like drastic measures, it is very important to stop the spread of avian influenza. Georgia’s number one industry is agriculture, and poultry is the largest portion of that industry. In fact, the University of Georgia says that if our state was a country we would be the fifth largest poultry producer in the world.
Backyard flocks within a short radius around the Menlo farm were also monitored during the outbreak to make sure that the avian influenza virus had not spread.
Ag officials say that poultry producers of all sizes – commercial and backyard – should continue to practice good biosecurity measures.
Also, UGA says that with warmer temperatures there is less likelihood that the virus will spread as it does not grow above sustained temperatures of sixty-five degrees.
If you have questions about your poultry, you can contact the Chattooga County Extension Office for more information.