Kentucky is the nation’s seventh biggest state for broiler production, and the birds make up one of its top commodities.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last week that tests have confirmed highly pathogenic avian flu in poultry in two more states, involving a commercial broiler farm in Kentucky and a backyard facility in Virginia.
In a statement, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture said tests are also pending in another suspected outbreak of a turkey flock in Webster County, located about 124 miles northeast of Fulton County.
State officials quarantined the affected premises, and birds on the properties will be depopulated to prevent the spread of the disease. Birds from the flocks will not enter the food system.
On February 18, Kentucky released a declaration of emergency for an hours-of-service (HOS) exemption for truckers transporting the needed wood chips for the composting of “depopulated” birds until March 18, 2022.
This is because there is an urgent need for the composting materials to be obtained and delivered to the affected areas as soon as possible.
Therefore, the state declared:
- Relief from hours of service imposed on commercial vehicles providing composting materials within the affected areas of Western and Southern Kentucky
- A waiver of stopping at all weigh stations for the commercial vehicles responding to the affected areas
- Any driver operating under the authority of this order must have a copy of the order in the cab of the vehicle
- Declaration to remain in effect until March 18, 2022.
Depopulation has already been completed in Virginia.