Poultry shows, public sales suspended in North Carolina

All poultry shows and public sales in North Carolina are suspended due to the threat of bird flu, the state veterinarian said.

The suspension includes all poultry and feathered poultry shows, farm tours, shows, sales, flea markets, auctions, trades and get-togethers, State Veterinarian Mike Martin said in a news release. Activities are suspended until further notice, the statement said.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says North Carolina joins several other states, including Georgia, that have also canceled or modified poultry events due to the flu. Poultry owners are urged to practice safety, including keeping flocks indoors with no outdoor access and reporting sick birds to a local veterinarian, the department or the NC Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System.

The suspension was announced on Tuesday.

Since March 29, avian influenza has been detected in seven commercial poultry facilities in Johnston and Wayne counties. Over 90,000 turkeys and over 280,000 broiler chickens were killed and composted on site to prevent the spread of the virus.

This type of bird flu is considered a low risk to humans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

Lynn A. Saleh