agricultural supplies

Pennsylvania farm destroys 1.5 million chickens to stop avian flu

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is on high alert for the avian flu following the discovery of the first case in nearly four decades.”We are in a moment today where we are trying to contain this virus so that it does not spread,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said.Agriculture leaders are putting plans in place to stop the threat.”Biosecurity is most important for anyone who owns or works with poultry, whether on a commercial farm, in the wild or a backyard flock,” Redding said.Incident management teams are working with the more than 100 poultry farms in the 6-mile area surrounding the Kreider Farms location in East Donegal Township, Lancaster County, where the positive avian flu case was confirmed.Farms are required to increase cleaning and disinfecting.”All of them are testing, so we’re monitoring real-time to make sure it’s not spreading, and if it is, if it does, we’ll have to take immediate action,” Redding said.”For them to move poultry or poultry products outside of that zone or any movement involving that area requires that they test twice, so once at 48 hours before movement, then again at 24 hours before movement,” said Dr. Alex Hamburg, with the Department of Agriculture.Many of those tests will go to the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg. Officials said the lab is extraordinarily busy but ready to handle it.”Pennsylvania’s three animal health laboratories analyzed nearly 200,000 samples for avian influenza last year. The laboratories which make up Pennsylvania animal diagnostic laboratory system have the capacity to test many more samples if necessary,” Hamburg said.No new casesNo new cases of avian flu have been reported two days after a Lancaster County poultry farm destroyed nearly 1.5 million chickens to stop the spread.The Kreider Farms Donegal egg-laying facility remains under quarantine, along with farms in about a six-mile radius. Those farms are testing for bird flu.Poultry is a $7 billion industry in Pennsylvania. The spread of avian flu could impact what you buy.”If you start pulling birds out, production out, meat, eggs, all of that, there’s only so many chickens. There’s only so many eggs. There’s only so much poultry, so we have to be aware that there could be implications to supply if we don’t contain this,” Redding said.If you suspect live poultry is infected, you are asked to report it to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Service at 717-772-2852. That number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Symptoms of avian flu in poultry include a lack of energy and appetite.Kreider Farms statementTom Beachler, vice president of operations at Kreider Farms, released the following statement: “Kreider Farms, along with state and USDA officials, has been working round the clock to reduce the risk of further spread of the Avian Influenza. The loss of birds at this site represents 15% of our egg layers. Fortunately, we are still able to fill customer egg orders from our other remaining locations which have all tested negative for the virus. While our site situation is under control we are aware that this year’s Avian Influenza is very transmittable in wild birds and still represents a very large threat to the nation’s commercial egg, broiler, and turkey flocks.” Avian flu riskThere is no risk to the public, and poultry and eggs are safe to eat if cooked properly.But HPAI is highly infectious ​and can be fatal to domestic birds (chickens, ducks, geese, quail, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys).According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, avian influenza detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.The positive samples were taken from a flock in East Donegal Township, Lancaster County, and tested at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory. The finding was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. An interagency HPAI task force works regularly to address the threat of disease to Pennsylvania’s wild and domestic bird populations. The task force includes:Pennsylvania Emergency Management AgencyPennsylvania Department of AgriculturePennsylvania Department HealthGeneral Services and Environmental ProtectionPennsylvania State PolicePennsylvania Game CommissionAir National GuardU.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Veterinary Services Wildlife ServicesThe task force will carry out the response plan, which includes education and public outreach, and minimizing risk factors through strict biosecurity measures and continued surveillance, testing and management. This is the first confirmed case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Pennsylvania in commercial poultry since an outbreak in 1983 to 1984. As of April 15, 2022, infected birds in commercial and backyard poultry flocks had been confirmed in 27 states including most states surrounding Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is on high alert for the avian flu following the discovery of the first case in nearly four decades.

“We are in a moment today where we are trying to contain this virus so that it does not spread,” Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said.

Agriculture leaders are putting plans in place to stop the threat.

“Biosecurity is most important for anyone who owns or works with poultry, whether on a commercial farm, in the wild or a backyard flock,” Redding said.

Incident management teams are working with the more than 100 poultry farms in the 6-mile area surrounding the Kreider Farms location in East Donegal Township, Lancaster County, where the positive avian flu case was confirmed.

Farms are required to increase cleaning and disinfecting.

“All of them are testing, so we’re monitoring real-time to make sure it’s not spreading, and if it is, if it does, we’ll have to take immediate action,” Redding said.

“For them to move poultry or poultry products outside of that zone or any movement involving that area requires that they test twice, so once at 48 hours before movement, then again at 24 hours before movement,” said Dr. Alex Hamburg, with the Department of Agriculture.

Many of those tests will go to the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg. Officials said the lab is extraordinarily busy but ready to handle it.

“Pennsylvania’s three animal health laboratories analyzed nearly 200,000 samples for avian influenza last year. The laboratories which make up Pennsylvania animal diagnostic laboratory system have the capacity to test many more samples if necessary,” Hamburg said.

No new cases

No new cases of avian flu have been reported two days after a Lancaster County poultry farm destroyed nearly 1.5 million chickens to stop the spread.

The Kreider Farms Donegal egg-laying facility remains under quarantine, along with farms in about a six-mile radius. Those farms are testing for bird flu.

Poultry is a $7 billion industry in Pennsylvania. The spread of avian flu could impact what you buy.

“If you start pulling birds out, production out, meat, eggs, all of that, there’s only so many chickens. There’s only so many eggs. There’s only so much poultry, so we have to be aware that there could be implications to supply if we don’t contain this,” Redding said.

If you suspect live poultry is infected, you are asked to report it to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Service at 717-772-2852. That number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Symptoms of avian flu in poultry include a lack of energy and appetite.

Kreider Farms statement

Tom Beachler, vice president of operations at Kreider Farms, released the following statement:

“Kreider Farms, along with state and USDA officials, has been working round the clock to reduce the risk of further spread of the Avian Influenza. The loss of birds at this site represents 15% of our egg layers. Fortunately, we are still able to fill customer egg orders from our other remaining locations which have all tested negative for the virus. While our site situation is under control we are aware that this year’s Avian Influenza is very transmittable in wild birds and still represents a very large threat to the nation’s commercial egg, broiler, and turkey flocks.”

Avian flu risk

There is no risk to the public, and poultry and eggs are safe to eat if cooked properly.

But HPAI is highly infectious ​and can be fatal to domestic birds (chickens, ducks, geese, quail, pheasants, guinea fowl and turkeys).

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, avian influenza detections do not present an immediate public health concern.

No human cases of avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States.

The positive samples were taken from a flock in East Donegal Township, Lancaster County, and tested at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory. The finding was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.

An interagency HPAI task force works regularly to address the threat of disease to Pennsylvania’s wild and domestic bird populations. The task force includes:

  • Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency
  • Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
  • Pennsylvania Department Health
  • General Services and Environmental Protection
  • Pennsylvania State Police
  • Pennsylvania Game Commission
  • Air National Guard
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Veterinary Services
  • Wildlife Services

The task force will carry out the response plan, which includes education and public outreach, and minimizing risk factors through strict biosecurity measures and continued surveillance, testing and management.

This is the first confirmed case of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Pennsylvania in commercial poultry since an outbreak in 1983 to 1984.

As of April 15, 2022, infected birds in commercial and backyard poultry flocks had been confirmed in 27 states including most states surrounding Pennsylvania.

https://www.wgal.com/article/bird-flu-found-lancaster-county-pennsylvania/39749113

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