ATLANTA – The state is taking steps to prevent the spread of a highly contagious form of bird flu that has broken out in commercial and backyard poultry operations in three states.

The Georgia Department of Agriculture issued an order Wednesday immediately canceling all exhibitions, shows, flea market or auction sales, swaps and meets involving poultry and other feathered fowl until further notice.

“There have been NO cases of avian influenza identified in commercial or domestic poultry in the state of Georgia,” the agency wrote in a news release.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influential (HPAI) was found in the states of Indiana, Kentucky and Virginia.

To ensure the disease doesn’t spread to Georgia, the department is instructing poultry producers to take the following measures to protect their flocks:

  • Move all poultry with outside access indoors.
  • Implement strict biosecurity.
  • Monitor flocks for clinical signs consistent with avian influenza.
  • Report any concerns to your veterinarian, state or federal animal health official immediately.

With HPAI, birds may become quiet, not eat and drink, have diarrhea, and have discolored combs and feet. Birds may also die suddenly with no signs of disease.

If you have concerns about avian influenza in birds, call the Georgia Avian Influenza hotline at (770) 766-6850 or visit

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.