Avian flu infects Pennsylvania layer flock

A commercial layer flock in Lancaster County has become Pennsylvania's first premises to be affected by highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Roy Graber Headshot
Avian Influenza word cloud, made with text only
Avian Influenza word cloud, made with text only

The first case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in commercial poultry in Pennsylvania has been confirmed.

The new case, reported by both the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) has been confirmed in a commercial layer flock in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. APHIS stated that the flock included 1,443,000 birds.

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. The department has quarantined the farm and all commercial poultry facilities within a 10-kilometer radius of the infected flock.

"Protecting Pennsylvania's $7.1 billion poultry industry is a year-round top priority," said Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. "We have strict biosecurity protocols in place both for Pennsylvania farms, and for poultry products shipped in and out of the state. We have had $2 million budgeted and set aside since 2016 to respond to avian influenza, in addition to equipment, supplies, laboratories and highly trained experts who have been on high alert and are supporting our poultry farmers.

APHIS and PDA have not yet released information concerning the size of the affected flock.

Case confirmed in Indiana

A presumed-positive case of HPAI in a commercial duck flock in Elkhart County, Indiana, earlier reported by the Indiana Board of Animal Health (BOAH) is now a confirmed case, according to APHIS. 

There were 6,379 ducks in the flock. This is Elkhart County’s second confirmed case.

Two more cases in Minnesota

APHIS updated its website to include information of two additional commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota, which were confirmed on April 14.

Those cases included a flock of 73,207 turkeys in Meeker County and a flock of 23,000 turkeys in Blue Earth County. These new detections mark Meeker County’s third case and Blue Earth County’s second case.

New case in Wisconsin

APHIS also reported a new case of HPAI in a commercial turkey flock in Polk County, Wisconsin. There were 20,000 turkeys affected in this flock. 

This is the third case of HPAI in commercial poultry in Wisconsin, the second case of HPAI in commercial turkeys in Wisconsin, and Polk County's first case.

To learn more about HPAI cases in North American commercial poultry flocks, see an interactive map on WATTPoultry.com.

Read our ongoing coverage of the global avian influenza outbreak.

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