Low pathogenic avian influenza detected in western Kentucky
Christian County flock depopulated; surveillance continues
For Immediate Release
For more information contact:
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Federal and state authorities say a case of low pathogenic avian influenza has been detected in a commercial poultry flock in western Kentucky.
Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert C. Stout said the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the presence of H7N9 low pathogenic avian influenza in samples taken from the Christian County premises.
The virus exposure at the premises was initially detected by the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville while conducting a routine pre-slaughter test last week. Dr. Stout said there were no clinical signs of disease in the birds. The affected premises is under quarantine, and the flock of approximately 22,000 hens was depopulated as a precautionary measure, Dr. Stout said.
“Dr. Stout and his staff have extensive experience and expertise in animal disease control and eradication,” Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “They have an excellent working relationship with the Kentucky Poultry Federation and the poultry industry. They are uniquely qualified to contain this outbreak so our domestic customers and international trading partners can remain confident in Kentucky poultry.”
Low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) may cause no disease or mild illness. Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) can cause severe disease with high mortality.
The OSV and its partners in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) are conducting surveillance on flocks within a six-mile radius of the index farm, Dr. Stout said. The company that operates the farm is conducting additional surveillance testing on other commercial facilities it operates within that area.
The Office of the State Veterinarian, an agency of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, works with USDA APHIS, other government agencies, the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center, private veterinary practitioners, and producers to prevent and eradicate disease in Kentucky livestock and poultry.
Dr. Stout encouraged poultry producers and all other bird owners to take biosecurity measures to prevent their birds from being infected with avian influenza or other bird diseases:
Keep your distance – Isolate your birds from visitors and other birds.
Keep it clean – Prevent germs from spreading by cleaning shoes, tools and equipment.
Don’t haul disease home – Clean vehicles and cages.
Don’t borrow from your neighbor – Avoid sharing tools and equipment with neighbors.
Know the signs – Watch for early signs to prevent the spread of disease.
Report sick birds – Report unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths to the Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian at (502) 573-0282, option 3, or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website says that avian flu viruses do not normally infect humans. APHIS issued a reminder that the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses.
Poultry and eggs generated an estimated $1.2 billion in cash receipts to Kentucky farmers in 2015, the Kentucky office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Kentucky farmers produced 307.7 million broilers and nearly 1.3 billion eggs in 2015.
Kentucky entry requirements are listed on the OSV website at kyagr.com/statevet. For more biosecurity tips and other information about avian influenza, go to healthybirds.aphis.usda.gov. For more information about the Christian County investigation, contact Dr. Stout at (502) 782-5921.
Calf values are down roughly 50% from 2014 highs, with efficient operations likely covering cash costs and breeding stock depreciation, but resulting in little to no return to capital, land, and management.
Recent prices have likely slowed expansion, but beef cow numbers will likely be up again in 2017.
Look for price improvement in the spring of 2017, but a significant drop from spring to fall given mounting meat supplies.
Fall 2017 could be the bottom of this price cycle.
Avian Influenza significantly impacted 2015 export values and bird values which also likely impacted the rate of turnover and replacement in KY operations.
Receipts should be back on track in 2016 and growth appears to be continuing in 2017.
Horse receipts have been flat for several years, rebounding from the depressed market during the 2009-2012 period.
September yearling sales were down around 3%, but early November breeding stock sales were solid before slumping at the end when mid to lower quality horses were placed on the market.
Equine sales and receipts are likely to be steady for 2017.
Alfalfa hay production is down for 2016 with prices slightly higher for higher quality hay. Grass hay production is likely steady with prices a bit lower. The wet spring and dry fall impacted quality and quantity across the state.
Year-over-year prices were down about 10% in 2016, with the largest differences in the beginning and end of the year.
USDA Hogs and Pigs report suggested significant growth in hog numbers in KY for 2016.
Fourth quarter hog slaughter has pushed slaughter capacity and drastically impacted hog prices.
Price improvement is likely in 2017 as some new plants begin operations and growth in KY hog numbers is likely to continue.
KY mailbox dairy prices for 2016 were down 12 to 13% from 2015 levels.
The first significant payments were made from MPP-Dairy program this past summer, but most KY dairy producers chose very low coverage levels and did not receive any payments.
Some improvement in prices occurred in the second half of 2016 and is likely to continue into 2017.
Source: 2016-2017 Kentucky Agricultural Economic Situation and Outlook, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment