Arkansas Department of Agriculture activates avian emergency rule

TBP – by George Jared

As further mitigation against confirmed cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in surrounding states, the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Livestock & Poultry Commission has activated the Arkansas Avian Influenza Emergency Rule. The new emergency rule will be in effect from Wednesday (March 23) to July 20. 

Under the emergency rule, it is prohibited to exhibit poultry and domestic waterfowl or move poultry or domestic waterfowl from or within an affected area. Poultry with commuter agreements or premovement avian influenza testing by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or antigen capture are exempt from this provision.

Poultry and waterfowl cannot be sold, bartered, traded, auctioned, or given away at fairs, swap meets, auctions, flea markets, and similar events and locations within an affected area. Chicks and ducklings three weeks of age or less originating from a NPIP certified flock are exempt from this provision.

An affected area is defined by the rule as a radius of 25 miles surrounding a flock with a confirmed case of HPAI.   

Additionally, the emergency rule requires all free range and backyard poultry to be confined under a roof or inside a structure to prevent contamination from infected migratory birds flying overhead or by direct exposure to wild birds.

Find the full Avian Influenza Emergency Rule at

HPAI is caused by an influenza type A virus which can infect poultry and wild birds. HPAI virus strains are extremely infections, often fatal to chickens, and can spread rapidly from flock to flock. Symptoms can include sudden increase in bird deaths with no clinical signs, lack of energy and appetite, decrease in egg production, soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs, and others.

Poultry owners should continue to closely monitor their flocks and report any possible symptoms to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture at 501-823-1746. Although there have been no reports of HPAI in Arkansas this year, there have been multiple reported cases in commercial turkey flocks, commercial broiler chicken flocks, and a backyard flocks of mixed species birds is the Mississippi Flyway and the Atlantic Flyway.


8 thoughts on “Arkansas Department of Agriculture activates avian emergency rule

    1. When you shared that story I was also thinking that in case of shortages (starvation) they want to keep track of possible food sources so they can come and take.


      1. My husband went to the local farm store for replacement chicks, as ours are getting older. After he purchased them the lady at the counter asked him would he sign a book with name and location of the chicks, he declined yet asked what was the purpose? Was told because of the avian bird flu, seems the department of ag wants to keep track.

        1. Why not raise your own, Misty?
          I’ve done it with an incubater, and brooding box.
          You’d be denying the corporate pile at least in part.

          1. I just checked one out, thanks. Also have a cockerel coming in a couple weeks, hopefully he will do his job lol. I do have a rooster but he’s hybrid and for some reason my girls won’t go broody? He’s fixen to go to the cook pot.

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