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N.C. Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Plan in Place

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  • N.C. Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Plan in Place

    N.C. Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Plan in Place
    Richard Davis rdavis@farmprogress.com
    April 7, 2008


    The avian influenza outbreak that took place in 2002 in Virginia (and to a lesser extent in North Carolina) resulted in the destruction of 4.7 million birds in the Commonwealth and cost Virginia producers an estimated $130 million. During the outbreak many poultry producers felt they were in economic limbo, uncertain whether they would eventually be paid by the government for their destroyed birds or if they would have to shoulder the losses themselves.

    Producers eventually were paid but the experience pointed out the need for an indemnity plan to be in place and readily accessible in case of another AI outbreak.

    Today producers can feel more at ease with the process since the U.S. Department of Agriculture has set aside funds to indemnify growers in case of another AI outbreak, says Bob Ford, executive director of the N.C. Poultry Federation. Still, in order to be eligible, poultry states must have state plans in place - and some of those are still in the process of being written and implemented.

    "The federal government said if states want to participate and get indemnification, they have to develop their own plans that have been approved by the USDA's National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)," Ford explains. "So states that have poultry wrote plans that pretty much parallel the national plan. Initially, that was for the high pathogenic avian influenza. Then they (the USDA and the states) came back with a low pathogenic plan and they now have indemnity tied to that, too. "

    On March 27 the National Turkey Federation conducted a bus "media tour" to get the word out that the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services now has introduced its "H5 and H7 Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Response Plan for North Carolina." Reporters, educators, state government agency representatives, public affairs reps and a number of high-powered association members from the National Turkey Federation and the N.C. Poultry Federation were onboard the tour bus. Participants included NTF president Joel Brandenburger, and N.C. state veterinarian David Marshall.

    The officials on the tour wanted to let North Carolina poultry producers know what measures have been implemented to safeguard poultry operations against avian influenza, on both a national and state level. The tour visited a turkey operation at W.H. Hardy, Jr. Farms, near La Grange, as well as the diagnostic lab at Goldsboro Milling in Goldsboro, N.C. Discussions particularly focused on biosecurity measures.

    The highly pathogenic strains of AI are much more virulent and more likely to kill poultry than low pathogenic strains. However, in an outbreak, low pathogenic H5 and H7 strains can mutate into the highly pathogenic forms of the disease. With so much at risk, birds infected with either highly pathogenic or low pathogenic strains of the disease must be euthanized.

    A great deal of information about avian influenza has been made available on the Internet. Learn more about AI at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/h...nfluenza.shtml

    Another good resource on AI can be found at www.AvianInfluenzaInfo.com.

    http://www.birdflubreakingnews.com/t...8%26fpstid%3D2
    "There's a chance peace will come in your life - please buy one" - Melanie Safka
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