07.07.15

Senator David Perdue Introduces Georgia Avian Bird Flu Expert at Agriculture Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) today highlighted Georgians’ concerns over recent avian bird flu outbreaks during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing. Senator Perdue introduced one of the hearing witnesses, Dr. David Swayne, a renowned Avian Influenza expert and Director of the National Poultry Research Center in Athens, Georgia. 

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“We are certainly honored to have what many would consider the foremost authority on Avian Influenza in the country here for this very important hearing,” said Senator Perdue. “Dr. David Swayne knows the devastating impact of HPAI and Georgians’ concerns about what could happen if poultry stock was exposed in our state to this devastating strain of bird flu. It is important for all of us to adequately and quickly inform producers about their options and the most up-to-date scientific data in the next few months.”

“The widespread presence of HPAI in wild birds provides an ongoing threat to the U.S. poultry industry,” said Dr. Swayne. “We do have a body of research data some generated by the University of Georgia on wild bird ecology with influenza viruses. That particular group, the Southeast Cooperative of Wildlife Disease Study, is specifically working on trying to identify the viruses that might come back in the migration of the fall, that impacts not only Georgia but the southeast and Atlantic coast flyways.”

Watch Senator Perdue’s opening statement here and download pictures from the hearing here