Thousands of Chickens Ordered Killed Because of Flu
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) _ About 130,000 chickens were ordered destroyed Tuesday as state officials tried to control an outbreak of deadly avian flu.
State Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Grubb said two flocks, one with 121,000 chickens and the other with 10,700, would be killed. Six flocks were ordered destroyed earlier this month.
The fatal disease has been identified in counties in the central, south- central and eastern portions of the state.
Although the flu situation is serious, Grubb said state officials still hoped they could contain the outbreak that began earlier this month.
In a 1983-84 outbreak, 16 million birds were destroyed in Pennsylvania, and another 1 million were killed in New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. The flu does not harm humans, but is easily spread by people to poultry.
″Our studies still indicate that the disease was reintroduced into Pennsylvania from outside the commonwealth through unsanitary cages and equipment,″ Grubb said in a statement. ″We are attempting to locate all possible areas where the virus could have been carried.″
The Delaware Department of Agriculture has banned poultry auctions for at least a month to prevent the spread of the flu.
Gerald Truitt Jr., executive assistant of Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc., a trade group, said Monday that six farms in Delaware and Maryland had been placed under quarantine because of possible contamination.