Ohio extends poultry ban to include West Virginia

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SALEM, Ohio – Earlier this month, Ohio Department of Agriculture officials banned imports of live poultry from Virginia and North Carolina and said it was only a matter of time until West Virginia joined the list.

Officials implemented a ban for the third state May 17 in order to protect Ohio’s poultry operations from the spread of avian influenza.

The disease was detected in Virginia in mid-March, in North Carolina in late April, and in West Virginia last week.

Supplemental ban. The ban supplements Ohio regulations already in place allowing the refusal of poultry imports from quarantined farms or areas in states where outbreaks have occurred.

The state agriculture department monitors the health and movement of all livestock and poultry in Ohio for the presence of infectious animal diseases.

A large-scale outbreak could result in serious economic ramifications for the state as a whole because of the interdependency of poultry production and other business enterprises involving veterinary medicine, grain production, feed manufacturing, transportation, food processing and sales, and others, according to Ohio Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey.

Ongoing tests. Testing continues in the area surrounding a poultry farm near Moorefield, W.Va., where the disease was detected May 9. Samples taken for testing from within a two-mile radius of the farm were returned as negative, according to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service personnel have expanded the testing area to a radius of six miles from the farm, according to Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Hannah.

Commissioner of Agriculture Gus R. Douglass has also prohibited the public display, sale or mingling of any live avian eggs at fairs, festivals or other public events in an attempt to break the cycle of infection. Anyone who violates the order is subject to a misdemeanor conviction, fine and possible jail sentence.

Douglass has also closed all live bird markets in the state and banned imports of poultry litter from Virginia.

More information. For more information on avian influenza or regulatory restrictions call Ohio’s Division of Animal Industry toll-free at 800-282-1955.

(You can contact Andrea Myers at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at amyers@farmanddairy.com.)

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