Bird flu biosecurity: Pa. imposes interstate quarantine

Eggs on a conveyor.
Eggs on a conveyor.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A new interstate quarantine order aims to protect Pennsylvania from highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) by establishing testing requirements on shipments of domesticated poultry and eggs from states with cases of HPAI.

The tests will confirm the shipments as disease-free.


The order, developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and published June 20, requires that poultry moving to live bird markets and eggs destined for a commercial breaking operation from states with flocks infected with bird flu 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. “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.”

Found in 20 states

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 Pennsylvania shore.

More than 48 million birds have been killed by the virus since December 2014. 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.


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  1. While an informative article, we need to be careful how things are stated. 48 million birds HAVE NOT BEEN KILLED BY THE VIRUS. 48 million birds, chickens and turkeys, HAVE BEEN DESTROYED in trying to contain the virus. When an infected bird is found in a flock, the entire flock is destroyed in hopes of containing the virus from spreading via live birds. Just my humble opinion, but I would suspect that 98%+ of those birds destroyed were virus free. this strain of avian flu is a prime example of how our food supply system efficiency has created it’s own unintended consequence. Viruses and bacteria have mutated, very rapidly, to become resistant to the antibacterials and other synthetic drugs required to keep large populations healthy in crowded environment. Try and find a single case of avian flu that has struck a flock of free range chickens with healthy immune systems……just saying.

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