The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Sunday confirmed a highly contagious form of avian influenza - bird flu - at a commercial breeding facility in south-central Tennessee.
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials say what could have been a major bird flu outbreak at the Tennessee border with Alabama may have been contained due to quick action.
It's the first confirmed bird flu case at a commercial farm this year.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the destroyed birds will not enter the food system.
Taiwan has imposed a ban on imports of all poultry-related products from Tennessee and imports of poultry meat from Wisconsin after the two US states reported avian influenza outbreaks.
Around 30 other poultry farms in nearby Lincoln County, Tenn., have been quarantined, pending testing. The company said it doesn't expect its chicken business to be disrupted.
"Birds on the property will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease".
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Sanderson Farms Inc, the third-largest USA poultry producer, cracked down on the movement of people and vehicles into its facilities, said Mike Cockrell, chief financial officer.
The commercial breeder where the outbreak was detected supplies Tyson Foods, but officials have declined to identify the breeder.
The source of the Lincoln County virus has not yet been determined. Only processed poultry products such as pasteurised eggs and canned chicken products, which have been heat treated to eliminate the bird flu virus, are excluded from the suspension.
Moreover, as a safety measure, all chicken farms within a 6 miles radius, have to be tested and they will only be given a clean chit after the results are out.
Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. additionally released a statement Monday urging growers to do all they can to prevent visitors or wild birds from coming into contact with their chickens.
The farmers of the affected farm have been advised to bury the bodies of the dead chicken, to avoid spreading of the virus. It is the first time HPAI has been found in Tennessee, the state government said. Shows were cancelled in 2015 amid concerns raised during a national avian flu outbreak. The pathogen responsible for bird flu becomes more lethal in large, over-crowded, confined, indoor farming operations like those contracted by food giant Tyson.
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