Bird Flu Found at Fifth Pa. Farm in 11 Days | Local News
HARRISBURG — Bird flu was detected on a fifth farm in Lancaster County on Tuesday, bringing the number of commercial chickens affected to 3.8 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The farm is a commercial table egg operation. There are 307,400 chickens affected.
Each of the farms is within a quarantine zone of 10 kilometers, or 6.7 miles, from the first farm where highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was confirmed on April 15.
A total of 3.5 million chickens were intentionally destroyed on the first four farms, according to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
The USDA says affected birds are “depopulated” to prevent the disease from spreading. Birds in affected flocks do not enter the food stream.
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection say there are no documented cases in humans and there are no immediate public health concerns. It is safe to eat poultry and eggs when they are well cooked.
HPAI is highly contagious and fatal in wild birds, especially waterfowl and commercial poultry. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, it is usually spread through the droppings of infected birds or through contaminated food and water.
The latest outbreak is linked to an initial discovery in December 2021 in Canada. It has since spread across the United States
On Tuesday, the latest USDA data shows 33.4 million birds are affected in 29 states, mostly commercial poultry, but also backyard flocks and wild birds.
Genetic analysis of samples from other states shows the current outbreak is spread by infected wild birds, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
The first confirmed case in wild birds in Pennsylvania was confirmed on March 24 in a Chester County bald eagle. Five infected ducks were discovered March 28 in Venango County. No additional cases in wild birds have been reported in the state.
Rep. Mindy Fee, R-Lancaster, this week introduced House Bill 2553 which, if passed, would provide $2 million in additional funding and broad authority to the US Department of Agriculture. State for avian flu-related response and preparedness, according to the representative. Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, Speaker of the State House.
“Bird flu has the potential to shut down an industry that employs people across the county and provides food for people across the eastern part of the country. We cannot waste time taking action to help this industry, and I want to thank the committee for their swift action,” Cutler said in a prepared statement.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday approved the transfer of nearly $263 million to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to directly support avian flu response efforts. The funding allows APHIS to continue its work with state and local partners to quickly identify and treat cases of HPAI in the United States.
Vilsack previously approved the use of about $130 million in emergency funding in mid-March.
Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding previously said on Friday that the food chain was not currently in danger.
“While we are very concerned about the threat this avian flu outbreak poses to Pennsylvania’s $7.1 billion poultry industry, feed safety and availability are not concerns,” he said. said Redding. “We encourage everyone in Pennsylvania to adopt normal shopping, cooking and eating habits.”