FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 27, 2017
Office of Communications
Continuation of Suspension of Poultry Assembly in Georgia
Atlanta—In an effort to minimize the risk of Avian Influenza entering our Georgia poultry flocks, the state veterinarian for Georgia has suspended all poultry exhibitions, swaps and meets, shows or sales at festivals, flea markets or auctions in the State of Georgia until further notice. This temporary suspension is in response to the recent confirmations of Avian Influenza in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky and prohibits the concentration, collection, or assembly of poultry and poultry products of all types from one or more premises for purposes of sale, exhibition, show, swap or meet.
“It is crucial that we all take extra precautions during this high alert situation to protect the State of Georgia from this devastating virus,” State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb said. “The best way to do that is to stay vigilant maintaining our biosecurity measures and to avoid the unnecessary transport and comingling of birds.”
The suspension does not restrict importation of poultry or poultry products provided all Georgia import requirements are met prior to importation. The suspension does not restrict out–of–state export of poultry and poultry products. All exports must meet the requirements of the state or country of destination. The suspension does not affect private sales of poultry and poultry products. Shipments of eggs or baby chicks from National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) Avian Influenza (AI) Clean facilities directly to approved Georgia facilities for sale to the public are not affected by this suspension. Eggs and baby chicks offered for sale that do not come from NPIP AI Clean facilities to the point of sale and/or eggs and baby chicks that move from an NPIP AI Clean facility directly to an unapproved facility and then are offered for resale are suspended temporarily.
Poultry contributes $25.9 billion to Georgia’s economy and accounts for 104 thousand jobs in the state.
“Agriculture is big business in our state and poultry is our number one industry,” Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black said. “It is imperative that we take every precaution necessary to prevent this economically devastating virus from entering our borders.”
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has been working diligently with industry partners and is focused on animal health and disease prevention. Neither LPAI nor HPAI pose a risk to the food supply. Furthermore, the Georgia Department of Health confirms that the risk of a human becoming ill with avian influenza during poultry illness incidents is very low.
Owners of commercial and backyard poultry flocks are encouraged to closely observe their birds and report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the state veterinarian’s office at (855) 491-1432. For more updates and information regarding biosecurity tips visit www.ga-ai.org or www.allinallgone.com.
About the GDA The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) is the voice of the state’s agriculture community. The department's mission is to provide excellence in services and regulatory functions, to protect and promote agriculture and consumer interests, and to ensure an abundance of safe food and fiber for Georgia, America, and the world by using state-of-the-art technology and a professional workforce. For more information, visit www.agr.georgia.gov.