Kentucky poultry farmers are on high alert and taking increased precautions to avoid a strain of bird flu that’s hit poultry in Dubois County, Indiana. The H7N8 strain of bird flu has caused 400,000 turkeys and chickens to be euthanized in the southwestern part of the state.
Kentucky Poultry Federation Executive Director Jamie Guffey says no cases of this strain of bird flu have been found in commercial operations in Kentucky.
But Guffey says Kentucky poultry farmers have been told to take steps aimed at avoiding bird flu infections.
“We’ve put all the poultry operations in Kentucky on the highest alert, as far as biosecurity goes. We have basically locked down the farms so that only emergency personnel are allowed, in hopes that we will contain the disease and not allow it to spread.”
Guffey says poultry farmers in Kentucky are following increased biosecurity guidelines.
“We are using footbaths, changing footwear when we go to a poultry farm, changing clothes. We’re not sharing equipment between poultry farms. We’re basically doing everything we can to prevent the spread of the disease.”
Guffey says this strain of bird flu was found in a duck harvested by a hunter in Lyon County, Kentucky in the past month. He says that’s why it’s critical for Kentucky poultry farms to take every precaution to prevent the spread of the disease.
Poultry is a $1.2 billion industry in Kentucky.