This client alert is an update to our February 25, 2022 alert, Preparing for another outbreak: HPAI. By now, it is accurate to say that if poultry operations are not prepared, they are at risk.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been confirmed in commercial flocks in Pennsylvania in two counties as early as mid-April. As of the date of this client alert, parts of each of Berks, Lebanon and Lancaster Counties are in “Infected,” “Control,” and “Surveillance” zones. No poultry operation within those zones can escape the associated restrictions, and those that exist outside of those zones wait for them to inevitably expand yet again.
The significance of the “zones” referred to lies in the General Quarantine Order issued by Secretary of Agriculture Russell C. Redding in response to the outbreak reaching Pennsylvania agriculture. Each zone radiates from an infected premises – a poultry operation or other flock that tests positive for HPAI – in every direction. In general, poultry and materials associated with poultry production cannot move into, within, or from a Quarantine Area without a permit issued by the Department of Agriculture, and regular flock testing is required. A Quarantine Area includes the infected premises and the Control Zone around each infected premises. If more infections are detected, more zones, and therefore more Quarantine Areas, will be established. Facilities can determine if they are in Quarantine Areas by checking this interactive online map.
To protect Pennsylvania’s valuable poultry industry from further outbreaks and business limiting restrictions, poultry operations must work to prevent additional infections. Important prevention steps include reviewing and updating biosecurity protocols and ensuring compliance with the same; prohibiting all but essential visitors and traffic around facilities; and understanding whom to call in the event of a suspected outbreak. It is also important that each poultry facility has a correct Premises Identification Number.
Poultry operations should consider reviewing their responsibilities in the event of an outbreak. Basic planning of an operation’s protocols for depopulation, composting or other disposals, and eventual repopulation can save critical time. In addition, well-thought-out plans can assist in better outcomes for indemnity payments in the event of an outbreak.
Poultry operations should also review their plans to look to arrange their facilities, operations, and insurance to afford better protection in the future.
Barley Snyder is assisting Pennsylvania’s poultry industry through this critical time. All poultry producers and anyone doing business with poultry producers are welcome and encouraged to join us for an online seminar on June 7, 2022, at 11 a.m.: Breaking Eggs, Not Businesses: A Solutions-Focused Discussion on Dealing with the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreak. Click here to learn more or to register.
If you need assistance with the implications that HPAI has on your business, please reach out to EmmaRose Strohl, Timothy G. Dietrich, or anyone in Barley Snyder’s Food & Agribusiness Industry Group for assistance.