Chicken Influenza Alert : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I do not have chickens, nor do I know much about them, but I came across the folong article, and felt I should post it. Hope it helps someone.

Chicken virus requires strict controls From the Science & Technology Desk Published 4/15/2002 9:38 PM

ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 15 (UPI) -- Chicken farmers in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia are going to extraordinary lengths to avoid the spread of the highly contagious H7N2 avian influenza in chickens, Maryland officials said Monday.

"Our main concern is the spread of the virus at auctions or fairs of chickens or poultry used for pets or for private use," Dr. Roger Olson, Maryland state veterinarian, told United Press International. "The virus is not spread to humans and chickens for national consumption purchased in grocergy stories are highly regulated by the major chicken processors and the states."

"Chicken farmers can detect a sick chicken because it is listless and has labored breathing and immediately a diagnosis is made usually on the farm and if the H7N2 avian influenza is detected, all the chickens on the farm are depopulated (killed)," Bill Satterfield, executive director of DelMarva Poultry Inc., told UPI. DelMarva is a trade association of those in the poultry industry in Delaware, Virginia and Maryland.

"Under the best conditions, the chickens are composted and the bacterial action of the 150-degree-Fahrenheit temperature breaks down the meat and bones."

The heat of the composting kills the virus and the chickens end up as compost which looks like humus and after testing to make sure the virus is dead, can then be used as fertilizer, according to Satterfield.

Infected chicken carcasses can also be disposed of in a landfill, but that requires special trucks that have liners so no liquid or feathers can escape, and the truck itself is washed and disinfected before it leaves the farm.

"Once the influenza is detected on a farm, the farmers are advised to remove all shoes and clothing worn in the chicken house because the virus can live on clothing and equipment," Satterfield said. "The virus can live for several days in the chicken feces so we advise the farmers to be especially careful with shoes and tires -- we try to limit the traffic in and out of an infected farm and keep a log of who's been there."

The most recent infection of this virus was in 1983-84 when millions and millions of chickens were killed on 300 farms in Virginia and Pennsylvania.

"The controls are much tighter, we've learned out lessons," Satterfield said.

The secretary of agriculture in Maryland issued an order that prohibits the gathering of poultry from multiple sources at auctions, marketplaces, fairs, exhibitions, shows, or other events in Maryland.

The order also prohibits poultry from entering Maryland from any state in which any poultry flock remains under quarantine for avian influenza without written permission from the secretary of agriculture.

The major chicken processors that include Perdue, Tyson Chicken and Allen Family Foods transport the chicks to the farms, provide the feed for the chickens and remove the chickens from the farms, they carefully regulate there chickens, according to Don Vandrey, spokesman for the Maryland Agriculture Department.

H7N2 avian influenza has been found within the last four weeks in poultry flocks in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and in Virginia, where dozens of poultry farms are under quarantine. As of Monday, nearly 1.5 million domestic chickens and turkeys in Virginia have been or are waiting to be killed, Vandrey said. "So far, the virus has not been detected in Maryland," Vandray told UPI.

"Poultry is the top agricultural industry in Maryland and it is incumbent on us to do as much as we can to protect our producers," said Secretary Hagner R. Mister. "It is much better to prevent the disease from occurring than to try to eradicate it."

In Maryland, broilers alone accounted for 32 percent or about $480 million of all farm revenue last year.

Arkansas and Georgia lead the nation in chicken production, followed by Alabama, North Carolina, Texas, Delaware, Maryland and Virgina.

(Reported by Alex Cukan in Albany, N.Y.)

Copyright 2002 United Press International

-- Bob in WI (, April 17, 2002


I don't have chickens so guess I won't have to worry.

Just wanted to say that I loved learning a new term--depopulated. That is a certainly a new term to me. Heck, it isn't even in my dictionary. lol.

-- Notforprint (, April 17, 2002.

NOTFORPRINT------>I don't know what kind of dictionary notforprint uses, but it is indeed a word. Look it up.

-- julie (, April 17, 2002.

Ditto, Notforprint . . . I was going to say the same thing. Depopulated . . . Freed from Breathing . .

I really like this PC talk; frees the mind from having to be specific and telling it like it is.

-- j.r. guerra in s. tx. (, April 17, 2002.

Depopulate \De*pop"u*late\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Depopulated; p. pr. & vb. n. Depopulating.] [L. depopulatus, p. p. of depopulari to ravage; de- + populari to ravage, fr. populus people: cf. OF. depopuler, F. d ['e]peupler. See People.] To deprive of inhabitants, whether by death or by expulsion; to reduce greatly the populousness of; to dispeople; to unpeople.

Where is this viper, That would depopulate the city? --Shak.

Note: It is not synonymous with laying waste or destroying, being limited to the loss of inhabitants; as, an army or a famine may depopulate a country. It rarely expresses an entire loss of inhabitants, but often a great diminution of their numbers; as, the deluge depopulated the earth. Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998

-- kim in CO (, April 17, 2002.

the poultry forums have been discussing this and the number of regional shows that have been canceled. Bummer! LQ

-- Little Quacker (, April 17, 2002.

Avian flu it seems is a disease mostly confined to the giant chicken factories where the chickens are kept in very close quarters.Also I may be a cynic but this disease seems to show up when they have a big surplus of chicken and the price is down.

-- Gary (, April 17, 2002.

Thanks for sharing Bob!

-- cowgirlone in ok (, April 17, 2002.

The Avian Flu isn't just affecting the big chicken "factories". It has gotten into the small flocks in those areas. Agricultural inspectors have been looking for infected small flocks and having them depopulated" as well.

The article doesn't mention it, but AI has also been detected in California. The California strain isn't as virulent as the East Coast strain so it hasn't been spreading as fast.

-- Dash (, April 17, 2002.

This is an old enough thread that no one may see this, but I just have to respond to a couple of statements made in the original text. The mention of listless chickens, ones who are breathing heavily almost made me laugh. This describes half the birds in a commercial operation! They are in a constant state of agitation and stress. The farmer is the last one who will want to point out a sick bird because he/she knows that the trucks will roll in and the income will cease for weeks or even months. The farmer/owner is at the mercy of the field man (or the new, politically correct term, service tech), who makes life and death decisions on behalf of the poultry company. The farmer is left holding the bag. Now, as for this safe such thing. The composters I have seen are woefully inadequate for heating of pathogens. In theory they work, but ALL the growers I know have gone back to disposing of their birds in whatever manner is easiest, and composting ain't it. Besides, composters are magnets for coyotes, racoons, skunks and other carrion eaters who dig into the pile and spread disease-laden carcasses all over the countryside. You can be sure the big boys are hoping the government gets all over the little backyard growers and destroys the family flocks. Then, we will be at the mercy of the corporate food giants. They hate independent poultry owners that they can't control. In reality, my backyard flock is in alot more danger from those big factory flocks than they are from me. I know what I'm talking about...we were slave to a commercial operation for 4 years and know many more farmers who are still trying to make a buck from them. If they had their way, there wouldn't be a free-ranging chicken anywhere in the country.

-- melina b. (, April 18, 2002.

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