Bird flu costing Ga. poultry industry millions

The global bird flu outbreak has had a significant impact on Georgia’s poultry industry, resulting in substantial financial losses. As the nation’s leading poultry producer, Georgia faced challenges due to the spread of avian influenza.

The cost of lost export business alone is believed to be in the millions of dollars.

Georgia has had only three reported cases since the virus’ reemergence in 2022. Although the last of those cases was resolved in November 2023, the fallout from those outbreaks continues to affect the state’s ability to export chicken and chicken parts.

China, for instance, one of Georgia’s major export markets for chicken feet, has placed a ban on the import of chicken products from 42 state, including Georgia, where the ban went into effect last November. Frozen chicken feet, which accounted for more than 80 percent of all U.S. poultry exported to China two years ago, faced significant disruptions due to this ban.

The loss incurred because of the outbreak of the virus is estimated to be “well into the millions of dollars,” Mike Giles, President of the Gainesville-based Georgia Poultry Federation, told