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USDA Confirms Highly Pathogenic H7 Avian Influenza in Tennessee Breeder Flock

First confirmed case of HPAI in a commercial flock in the U.S. this year

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture is alerting all poultry owners and growers to remain vigilant and enhance biosecurity practices now that a highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza (HPAI) virus has been confirmed in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee.

“This outbreak in Tennessee is a stark reminder that HPAI can hit anywhere, anytime, and we need to make sure we are prepared for a possible outbreak here in Maryland,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “I urge all of our poultry owners—from large commercial operations to small backyard flocks—to remain vigilant in your biosecurity practices and recordkeeping.”

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic H7 avian influenza of North American wild bird lineage in a commercial chicken breeder flock in Lincoln County, Tennessee. The flock of 73,500 is located within the Mississippi flyway. This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in commercial poultry in the United States this year.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has been training and preparing for an outbreak in Maryland for over a year, and has been testing every flock before going to slaughter.  The Maryland Department of Agriculture has avian influenza information on its website including links to a biosecurity self assessment developed by USDA with industry stakeholders.  In the event of an outbreak in Maryland, the latest information will be posted on the department’s Bird Flu Blog and on Twitter @MdBirdFlu and @MdAgDept.

Report sick birds to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Animal Health Program at 410-841-5810.

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889

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