A new interstate quarantine order aims to protect Pennsylvania from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) by establishing strict testing requirements on shipments of domesticated poultry and eggs from states with cases of HPAI that confirm the shipments as disease-free.
The order, developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and published in the June 20 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin, requires that poultry moving to live bird markets and eggs destined for a commercial breaking operation from states with infected HPAI flocks must meet the 72-hour testing, paperwork and reporting requirements that certify the shipment has tested negative for avian influenza.
“As avian influenza continues to spread eastward, we have increased our monitoring and protocols to safeguard the state’s $13 billion poultry industry,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “With this order, Pennsylvania’s biosecurity efforts are strengthened without impeding commerce. While we know that the disease has not had any known human health impacts, we are taking the necessary precautionary steps to ensure birds and eggs are safe for our consumers.”
The disease has been found in 20 other states, including the most recent confirmation in Macomb County, Mich., 150 miles across from Lake Erie’s PA shore. More than 48 million birds have been killed by the virus to date.
Since December 2014, there have been two different avian influenza Type-A virus strains associated with this current outbreak – the highly pathogenic H5N8, and the highly pathogenic H5N2, which has caused more than 95 percent of the current infections.
The virus has spread west to east primarily through migratory birds from the Pacific to the Central flyway to the Mississippi flyway. The Atlantic flyway, which intersects with the Mississippi flyway and overlies Pennsylvania, has not yet shown birds carrying the virus.