Ag Commissioner Steps Up Poultry Testing - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/10/06

Ag Commissioner Steps Up Poultry Testing

By now you've heard about the bird flu. It's a disease that has already hit several countries, so the US and even the State of Georgia is taking precautions.

We caught up with Tommy Irvin, the commissioner of agriculture for Georgia, today. He gave us an update on the latest plans to stop the virus should it come this way.

He says it starts with checking the chickens that come into the state. "The testing program will test two weeks before they arrive at the marketplace," he told us. "Every flock that we market this year in Georgia. That's a surveillance program that should put us in a position that if it shows up, we'll know immediately."

Irvin says, last year, 100,000 tests were done on chickens. This year, because of the bird flu scare, there will be 500,000 tests.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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