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Tighten Biosecurity in Poultry Disease Breaks a Threat

Livestock Update, June 1997

Phillip J. Clauer, Poultry Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech

In the past two months there has been an increased disease concern in poultry due to two separate but very dangerous poultry disease outbreaks. If you need more biosecurity information access the Biosecurity publication on the VCE poultry resource page or contact Phillip J. Clauer.

Avian Influenza in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Information received from USDA and the Pennsylvania Poultry Federation of an independently owned table-egg farm in Lancaster County which is positive for H7N2 avian influenza.

Due to moderately increasing mortality on this three house farm, from a normal 15 birds/day to 100 birds/day, samples ere taken to the New Bolron laboratory and forwarded to NVSL. NVSL notified the Pennsylvania authorities Sunday night and an industry government meeting was held May 6 in the afternoon. By noon, May 7, all 140,000 birds on the farm are to be depopulated and buried on the farm.

This farm, southwest of Mannheim, which has no known connection with the live-bird markets, is about 20-25 miles from the farm which was AI positive in February, 1997. It is surrounded by poultry in Lancaster County. Samples from layer and broiler farms within a 10 mile radius of the positive farm are to be submitted to diagnostic laboratories. The positive farm is under quarantine. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is undertaking the epidemiological work.

According to the Pennsylvania Poultry Federation, what has been seen is not highly pathogenic, but it has not been officially characterized by NVSL. NVSL is sequencing the virus and injecting live birds.

This latest case re-emphasizes the need for continued, year-round biosecurity. Unless absolutely necessary, we discourage travel to Lancaster County until further notice. We commend the Pennsylvania authorities and the owners of those birds for their quick response.

Duck Virus Enteritis Break in Virginia Beach Area
Three separate breaks of Duck Virus Enteritis have been confirmed in the Virginia Beach area on small residential ponds and the Lawson farm (Islander Marsh Game Farm) in Poquoson, Virginia. This disease is mainly spread from bird to bird contact and when birds are allowed to come in contact with the droppings of infected birds. Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries and State Veterinarian's Office are working to contain the problem.

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