Young broilers are seen in a Georgia chicken house in 2012. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Georgia ends bird flu restrictions for producers

Georgia officials have ended restrictions on poultry producers that were imposed March 16 because of avian flu, it was announced Wednesday.

“Effective immediately, all poultry exhibitions, shows, sales (flea markets, auction markets), swaps and meets in the State of Georgia are permitted to return to normal operations,” state veterinarian Robert M. Cobb Jr. said in a news release.

In March, a flock of chickens in a Chattooga County commercial farm tested positive for a low-pathogenic strain of avian flu, the state Department of Agriculture said.

It was the first confirmation of bird flu in commercial poultry in Georgia.

The entire flock was killed as a precaution, officials said. However, Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black’s office said no infected animals entered the food chain and the strain of the avian flu did not threaten the food supply.

“As a reminder, avian influenza resides in our wild birds, especially wild waterfowl,” Cobb said in Wednesday’s release. “In order to protect your flock from disease, it is sound practice to maintain biosecurity at all times.”

RELATED: Bird flu found in Georgia chicken flock

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