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Could be months before sanctuary reopens after bird flu

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It could possibly be months earlier than a Georgia animal sanctuary reopens after being closed by bird flu that killed wild vultures roosting there, a part of an outbreak that has led to 40.3 million deaths in commercial and backyard flocks nationwide.

A word on the Noah’s Ark web site Tuesday stated the sanctuary, which homes greater than 1,500 animals in Locust Grove, might be closed till Sept. 30.

Nevertheless, the state veterinarian, Dr. Janemarie Hennebelle, said in a video Friday that birds there might be quarantined for no less than 5 months. Simply over 100 have been euthanized as a result of they have been at excessive threat for the virus, she stated.

Noah’s Ark stated euthanized birds included peacocks, peahens, emus, ostrich, Guinea fowl, chickens, turkeys and geese, one owl, one crow and one sandhill crane. “These species of birds may be carriers of the avian influenza and have been uncovered to the vulture inhabitants that has been dying off,” it stated in Monday’s unsigned assertion.

Noah’s Ark nonetheless has a whole bunch of birds that are alive and effectively, the sanctuary stated.

Hennebelle and state Agriculture Secretary Gary Black didn’t establish Noah’s Ark by title, describing it solely as a non-commercial flock in Henry County.

The state Agriculture Division was notified Aug. 13 that an uncommon variety of black vultures had died, and was instructed 5 days later that home geese have been displaying fowl flu signs, Hennebelle stated. She stated samples have been taken from the geese on Aug. 19, and three days later a federal lab confirmed that it was the H5N1 pressure.

That pressure has contaminated industrial and yard flocks in 39 states and has been reported in 2,100 wild birds in all however a handful of states, based on the U.S. Division of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

“As a pure illness occasion, the location must be contained, cleaned up after which sanitized/disinfected. We’re on the contained stage,” stated a press release Monday from Noah’s Ark. “Our State Company companions are and can lead clear up and sanitization. They’ll lead full vulture removing and roost removing and sanitation.”

Neither state officers nor Noah’s Ark stated what number of black vultures have died there.

Animal care supervisor Allison Hedgecoth instructed WXIA-TV that no less than 700 black vultures have died. She had been suspended earlier than speaking with the station, based on a press release Tuesday from the sanctuary.

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McConnaughey reported from New Orleans.

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