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HPAI Risks Arising from Live Bird Market Production


EGG-NEWS has regularly commented on the risks inherent to production of broilers for the live bird market (LBM) system in the Northeast. This past week the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture imposed quarantine orders on 207 flocks in Lancaster and Chester Counties following outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in the two areas.


According to Dr. Kevin Brightbill, Pennsylvania State Veterinarian, there is anecdotal evidence that owners of some (LBM) flocks have failed to report sick and dying birds presumably as a result of exposure to H5N1 avian influenza virus.


The quarantine order would allow samples to be taken from flocks at regular intervals and has enjoined owners to disclose any unreported illnesses.


Not only is the live bird market system a danger to commercial poultry production, wet markets provide a possible means of transmitting H5N1 to customers and bird handlers.


In the 21st century, there is no justification for an archaic system of distributing poultry.  Both kosher and halal certified broilers and ducks are available in supermarkets and specialty stores, that were processed under USDA or state supervision.  Live bird markets and their suppliers represent a danger to the poultry industry and to the public.