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Avian Influenza Emergency Rule in Effect from March 23 through July 20, 2022

LITTLE ROCK – As further mitigation against confirmed cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in surrounding states, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Livestock & Poultry Commission promulgated the Arkansas Avian Influenza Emergency Rule (Emergency Rule) on March 15, 2022. The new Emergency Rule will be in effect from March 23 to July 20, 2022. 
 
Under the Emergency Rule, it is prohibited to:
 
A. Exhibit poultry and domestic waterfowl;
B. Move poultry or domestic waterfowl from or within an affected area;
  • Poultry with commuter agreements or premovement avian influenza testing by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen capture are exempt from paragraph B.
C. Sell, barter, trade, auction, or give away, poultry or domestic waterfowl at fairs, swap meets, auctions, flea markets, and similar events and locations within an affected area.
  • Chicks and ducklings three weeks of age or less originating from a NPIP certified flock are exempt from paragraph C.
 
An affected area is defined by the rule as a radius of 25 miles surrounding a flock with a confirmed case of HPAI. 
 
Additionally, the Emergency Rule requires all free range and backyard poultry to be confined under a roof or inside a structure to prevent contamination from infected migratory birds flying overhead or by direct exposure to wild birds.
 
Find the full Avian Influenza Emergency Rule at https://bit.ly/AIrule.
 
HPAI is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry and wild birds. HPAI virus strains are extremely infections, often fatal to chickens, and can spread rapidly from flock to flock. Symptoms can include sudden increase in bird deaths with no clinical signs, lack of energy and appetite, decrease in egg production, soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs, and others. More information on HPAI can be found at https://bit.ly/AvianHealth
 
Poultry owners should continue to closely monitor their flocks and report any possible symptoms to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture at 501-823-1746. More information on HPAI symptoms can be found at https://bit.ly/367voIB.
 
Although there have been no reports of HPAI in Arkansas this year, there have been multiple reported cases in commercial turkey flocks, commercial broiler chicken flocks, and a backyard flocks of mixed species birds is the Mississippi Flyway and the Atlantic Flyway. Information regarding confirmed HPAI cases in the U.S. for 2022 can be found at https://bit.ly/HPAI2022.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides resources on biosecurity for poultry operations through their Defend the Flock campaign, which can be found at https://bit.ly/USDA-DTF.
 
The Arkansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to the development and implementation of policies and programs for Arkansas agriculture and forestry to keep its farmers and ranchers competitive in national and international markets while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of the state and nation. Visit agriculture.arkansas.gov/. The Arkansas Department of Agriculture offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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