Early Wild Bird Testing Negative for AI


The southeast is still in preparation mode when it comes to the potential arrival of high pathogenic avian influenza.  Joe Reardon, assistant commissioner of consumer protection with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture says testing and monitoring of migratory waterfowl is underway, and so far the news is good:


“It is good.  We’re getting some early information from USDA and other states are doing a lot of surveillance testing and of some of that water fowl, coming back.  So, a lot of people are working hard to really give us as much early information as possible.

Some of that testing is coming back negative…

“It is.  Some of the early water fowl that’s coming through is showing negative, we hope that trend continues. These are some of the early birds that we’re seeing that’s going south, and so we hope that does continue.”

Now, you said you had seen some low path show up, but that’s not really of a concern.

“Well, not like the high path, I mean it’s obviously we want to be aware of, it’s something we’re testing for, but we are concerned with high pat AI, work with Wildlife, work with USDA and get as much early information as possible.”

And of course, the training of response teams continues…

“It does.  Our staff, working with USDA and Wildlife and other partners have really been working to get all our de-population equipment in place, and decontamination equipment looking at how to deal with the birds if it does come this way, with composting and other technologies.  But, at the end of the day, we really hope we’ve invested in something we’ll never use.”

For more on preparations for dealing with highly pathogenic avian influenza, as well as protocols for every poultry farm, visit the special AI section on our website, SFNToday dot com.


A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.