NC Commissioner Troxler: North Carolina Achieves HPAI-Free Status

North Carolina has been designated High Path Avian Influenza-free by the World Organization for Animal Health. This designation means that the state can resume exports and international trade for poultry products.

Under WOAH guidelines, HPAI-free status can be declared after the disease has been eliminated on all affected farms and no new infections are detected during a 28-day waiting period.

  • I know that over the past 8 months we have revisited High Path Avian Influenza on this program several times.
  • Today I am here to announce good news. The World Organization for Animal Health has designated North Carolina as HPAI-free. This designation means that the state can resume exports and international trade for poultry products.
  • This designation is achieved after all signs of the virus have been eliminated.
  • High Path Avian Influenza is a disease that does have trade implications. Which is why when a country has a case it is required that it be reported to the World Organization for Animal Health.
  • Since January, when migratory birds traveling through the state tested positive for HPAI, we have been on high alert.
  • Our Veterinary Division, poultry companies, commodity organizations and several other federal and state agencies worked together communicate with farmers and backyard bird owners the dangers of HPAI and ways to protect their flocks.
  • Nine of our poultry farms tested positive for HPAI in March and April, resulting in a statewide ban on poultry shows and sales from April through June 1. Our swift response quickly controlled the outbreak.
  • Achieving HPAI-free status is the last step we needed as a state to put this outbreak behind us.
  • Even though we have achieved HPAI-free status, it is likely that the avian influenza virus is still circulating in the wild bird population.
  • Poultry owners need to continue to follow strict biosecurity and minimize exposure to wild birds as much as possible.
  • This HPAI outbreak affected 400 poultry farms in 38 states since February. In North Carolina, more than 110,000 turkeys and 371,000 broilers were depopulated on the six turkey farms and three broiler farms in Johnston and Wayne counties that tested positive.
  • Broilers, or chicken raised for meat, are the top agricultural commodity for North Carolina, representing more than $3.6 billion in cash receipts for farmers annually. More than 916 million broilers are raised each year in the state.
  • North Carolina also ranks first in the nation in poultry and egg cash receipts and is the second-largest turkey-producing state in the nation, raising more than 31 million turkeys annually.
  • North Carolina exported over $417 Million worth of poultry and poultry products in 2021.
  • I would like to thank our poultry producers and backyard flock owners for their cooperation over the last several months. Our goal is to keep flocks healthy and we appreciate everyone who did their part to help control HPAI in our state.