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Avian flu found in maryland chicken farm { March 7 2004 }

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Avian Flu Found on Maryland Chicken Farm
By Associated Press

March 7, 2004, 12:39 AM EST

POCOMOKE CITY, Md. -- A case of Avian flu has been found at a commercial chicken farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the U.S. agriculture department said.

It is the same strain, H7, found last month in two flocks in Delaware, but officials said there was no known connection with the cases in the two states.

The outbreak is at a Pokomoke City farm with about 118,000 6-week-old broiler chickens. Officials quarantined the farm Friday evening, Maryland Agriculture Secretary Lewis R. Riley said in a news release. The birds will be destroyed Sunday morning and their remains kept in the chicken houses where they are killed.

Officials said 210,000 chickens on a nearby farm under the same ownership also would be destroyed because of "shared personnel and equipment."

But they said they would keep under observation some week-old birds on a third property owned by the same farmer.

Also, the state agriculture department quarantined 71 farms in a six-mile radius of the farm where the case was found. There are approximately 1,100 poultry farms on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Poultry in Maryland accounted for $441 million of the state's $1.4 billion agriculture industry in 2002.
Copyright 2004, The Associated Press

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