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The state veterinarian’s office began preparing for the possibility of the virus in February, when a highly contagious form of bird flu broke out in three other states. In an attempt to prevent the spread of this influenza in Georgia, the office ordered a halt to all exhibitions, shows, flea market/auction sales, and swaps and meets involving poultry and other feathered fowl to cease. This order remains in effect.
'Poultry is the top sector of our number 1 industry, agriculture, and we are committed to protecting the livelihoods of the many farm families that are dependent on it,' Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black said Thursday. 'In order to successfully do that, it is imperative that we continue our efforts of extensive biosecurity.”
Bird flu does not pose a risk to the food supply, and no affected animals entered the food chain. The risk of human infection with avian influenza is very low. Poultry flock owners are encouraged to closely observe their birds and report a sudden increase in the number of sick birds or bird deaths to the Avian Influenza Hotline at 770-766-6850.