Live bird farms have been instructed to euthanize healthy flocks because of the potential spread of bird flu
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Despite efforts to control bird flu, cases are rising in the United States and Pennsylvania. On Friday, the rapid rise in infections prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to order all 12 of its bird farms to euthanize or sell their healthy birds.
Although the herds have tested negative for the virus, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau said the disease is spreading quickly and they want to stay ahead of it. Five million birds have died from bird flu in Pennsylvania since April 2022.
“This is done out of extreme caution,” said Grant Gulibon, a regulatory affairs specialist at the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. “It was a challenge not just in Pennsylvania but nationally.”
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An estimated 58 million birds have died from avian influenza in the United States.
Birds in Pennsylvania are particularly susceptible to the disease, which is carried by wild birds, according to Gulibon.
“We are at the crossroads of some important flyways used for migratory birds throughout the East Coast, so there is a lot of wild bird activity,” Gulibon said. “We want to make sure we’re not tracking any farm material that could spread.”
The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is also asking small farms to take additional biosecurity measures to protect their herds.
“Make sure you take special clothing and shoes with you [to the farm and] Change these out before you go [and] Hose down vehicles that may be driving onto the farms,” Gulibon said.
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The impact of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s decision remains to be seen, but it comes at a time when egg prices are at record highs.
“It’s not something where, in the middle [the outbreak], we can announce victory,” said Gulibon. “We have to endure it day after day.”
https://www.abc27.com/news/top-stories/live-bird-farms-ordered-to-euthanize-healthy-flocks-due-to-potential-spread-of-avian-flu/ Live bird farms have been instructed to euthanize healthy flocks because of the potential spread of bird flu