WASHINGTON– Information from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) cases in Pennsylvania, Utah and Colorado. 

Multiple reports found that a commercial layer chicken flock at Kreider Farms in Lancaster County, Pa., was dealing with the disease. About 1.4 million birds were culled over the last few days.  

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture quarantined the farm and all commercial poultry facilities within a 10-km radius of the infected flock.

“Protecting Pennsylvania’s $7.1 billion poultry industry is a year-round top priority,” said Russell Redding, agriculture secretary for Pennsylvania. “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.”

This is the first confirmed case of HPAI in Pennsylvania in commercial poultry since an outbreak in 1983-84.

A non-commercial backyard flock (non-poultry) also tested positive in Utah County, Utah.

Samples from the Pennsylvania flock were tested at the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory and samples from the Utah flock were tested at the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, both part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. The cases were confirmed at the APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

APHIS said it is working with state animal health officials in both states on joint incident response. 

USDA added that it would report findings to the World Organization for Animal Health along with international trading partners. 

APHIS asked that anyone involved with poultry production, from small backyard to large commercial producers, review their biosecurity activities to assure the health of their birds.

In other updates regarding HPAI, the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) confirmed cases at a commercial poultry operation in Montrose County, Colo. 

Samples were submitted to the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for preliminary testing, with confirmation of HPAI made by NVSL on April 19. The 60,000-bird flock is being euthanized to control the spread of the virus.

The state veterinarian of Colorado issued a quarantine order in parts of Montrose and Delta counties to limit the movement of birds in and out of the area. 

As of April 15, 27 states had reported cases of HPAI.