Avian Influenza Backyard Poultry Flock Information Program
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has already broke out in other parts of the country. Do you know the symptoms and signs if this disease happens to come to your back yard? Because of HPAI, there are many new regulations and guidelines that the North Carolina Dept. of Agriculture has implemented.
Many small farmers and gardeners have expressed concern across the state about the registering of backyard poultry flocks mandate through NCDA&CS (NC Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services). This is due the imminent threat of the Avian Influenza pathogen, a highly contagious virus among poultry animals, which is expected to reach NC this fall.
The disease has already left devastation in other states causing the death of an estimated 48 million chickens and turkeys in 21 Midwestern states. The economic loss from the disease has reached into the billions. The primary cause of the disease spreading is migratory birds.
According to the NC Poultry Federation, poultry is the #1 agricultural industry in the state, made up of more than 5700 family farms and totals 40% of the total state farm income. NC is also ranked 3rd in the nation in total number of poultry birds, which brings with it the potential for enormous economic loss to small farms across the state, as the industry in NC is more than a $34 billion resource in production alone.
The informational program to be held on Thursday, September 17, 6:00 p.m., at the Brasstown Community Center is intended to help answer questions about the registration program as well as help make poultry owners aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease and what to look for. Dr. Douglas Meckes, NC State Veterinarian, will be present at the program to provide information about the state ruling as well as recommendations for small flock owners.
To register for the information program, please contact the Cherokee County Extension Office at 837-2210, so that sufficient material can be provided for all participants.