Department of Agriculture
Supporting Arkansas farmers and ranchers while ensuring safe food, fiber, and forest products for the citizens of Arkansas, the nation, and across the globe
Affected Area Confinement Notification
November 3, 2023
Notification and Biosecurity Recommendations Regarding Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
This week, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in an Arkansas commercial poultry operation. Reports indicate that the virus is being carried by certain types of waterfowl within our migratory flyway. This indicates that the affected area could spread.
Under the provisions of the Poultry Disease and Flock Condemnation Rule, which can be found here, it is prohibited to conduct the following actions within an affected area:
- Exhibit poultry and domestic waterfowl.
- Move poultry or domestic waterfowl.
- Sell, barter, trade, auction, or give away poultry or domestic waterfowl at fairs, swap meets, auctions, flea markets, and similar events and locations.
An affected area is an area determined by the Arkansas Department of Agriculture of approximately 25 miles surrounding a flock with a confirmed case of HPAI. The boundaries of the affected area for the confirmed case in Madison County are Gateway (northernmost), Osage (easternmost), Combs (southernmost), and Harmon (westernmost).
Additionally, all free range and backyard poultry within an affected area, whether intended for commercial or noncommercial use, must be confined under cover or inside structures to prevent contamination from migratory birds. Backyard flock owners who have sick or unusual deaths in their flocks should email email@example.com or call (501) 823-1746.
To mitigate the disease risk from contact with the waterfowl or their droppings, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Division strongly recommends taking the following steps for the next 30 days:
- Keep your birds indoors or covered to prevent exposure to wild or migratory birds.
- Restrict access to any source of water that may have been contaminated by wild or migratory birds.
- Implement strict biosecurity on the premises, with an emphasis on biosecurity methods that prevent any exposure to wild or migratory waterfowl or their droppings. Alert all farm personnel of the increased risk of HPAI.
- Monitor all flocks for increased mortality or clinical signs and report any concerns to your veterinarian, the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Division at 501-823-1746, or your local Arkansas Cooperative Extension County Agent. You can find your county office at uaex.uada.edu/counties/.
Please be advised that additional steps to control disease could involve a quarantine of your premise, which would mandate the above measures.
For more information on avian influenza or biosecurity, we encourage you to visit the USDA’s Defend the Flock website.
Find a PDF version of this notice here.