HARRISBURG — Gov. Josh Shapiro and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 30 that Pennsylvania is recognized by the World Animal Health Organization as free of highly pathogenic avian influenza.
This official status means that, for the first time since April 2022, Pennsylvania can return to normal international trade conditions. Trade had been restricted after the outbreak of the current HPAI string affected 31 commercial flocks, 36 backyard flocks and caused the loss of 4.6 million domestic birds.
The last confirmed infection of the bird flu in Pennsylvania was on March 17, in Lancaster County. In early August, specific restrictions on farms where infections had been confirmed were finally lifted.
Pennsylvania remains under a general quarantine and the department will continue to test and monitor statewide. Despite no detections of the most infectious strain of the virus in recent months, detections of the virus in surrounding states indicate the threat is still present, especially as wild bird migration season approaches.
Currently, the Department is still reviewing applications for the fifth round of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Recovery Reimbursement Grants, which will reimburse those in the industry for the costs of enhanced biosecurity necessary to protect against the virus. It is recommended poultry producers continue to implement strict biosecurity practices at all times, monitor bird health and report any unexplained illnesses and deaths in a flock to 717-772-2852.
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