AL agriculture officials monitoring poultry flocks as flu spreads in US

Published: Apr. 23, 2015 at 7:51 PM CDT|Updated: May. 21, 2015 at 7:51 PM CDT
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(WAFF) - An outbreak of avian flu that has spread to 12 states is leading Alabama agriculture officials to carefully monitor poultry farms in the state.

Brett Hall, Alabama's Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, said his department has been in contact with the state's poultry farmers over the last month.

Hall said they are also working with the USDA to protect the state's poultry flocks. The department has inspectors in the field and says they can't let their guard down.

State veterinarian Dr. Tony Frazier emphasized that Alabama poultry products are safe. Frazier did say that backyard producers should watch for sick bords or unusually high numbers of poultry deaths. If they noticed anything, they should notify the state agriculture department.

The bird flu has already cost Midwest turkey and chicken producers over 7 million birds since early March. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on a vaccine to counter a deadly flu.

Statistics show Alabama is one of the leading poultry meat producers in the United States, second only to Georgia.

Copyright 2015 WAFF. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.