ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Robertson County Fair announced it’s canceling its Chicken Show this Saturday after an alert from the State Veterinarian.
According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, a strain of avian flu has hit a poultry flock in West Tennessee. The State Veterinarian has ordered “the immediate halt to poultry shows and exhibitions and sales of poultry at livestock markets, flea markets, and swap meets statewide.”
Avian flu, also known as bird flu, can be deadly to domesticated fowl like chickens, ducks, turkeys, geese, pheasants, and pigeons. It’s also highly pathogenic.
A flock owner in Obion County alerted the state of a possible outbreak after an increase in sudden deaths. After testing at a lab in Nashville and also in Iowa, H5N1 was reported in that flock.
“With HPAI, it’s critical we move quickly to stop the virus from spreading,” Tennessee State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said in a news release. “We appreciate the flock owner for contacting us immediately when unexpected deaths occurred. We have protocols in place for instances like this and we are working closely with our state and federal partners to get this situation under control.”
That farm has been put in quarantine and a 12.4 mile surveillance zone surrounding the site has been established.
While avian flu doesn’t pose a food safety risk, the state said no infected poultry should be allowed to enter the food supply, adding the risk of human infection is very low.
Flock owners are encouraged to report any sudden increase in a number of sick birds or deaths to the Tennessee Veterinarian’s office at (615) 837-5120.
More information about Tennessee’s response to avian flu can be found at this link.