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PA strengthens biosecurity to fight animal disease

PA strengthens biosecurity to fight animal disease

By Blake Jackson

Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture recently hosted a regional meeting focused on safeguarding animal and human health. This comes amidst concerns about Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) impacting dairy cattle in several states.

While Pennsylvania remains HPAI-free in cows, the state acknowledges the unpredictable nature of such diseases. Just as wild birds spread HPAI in poultry, unforeseen events can threaten farms.

Public discussions center on the safety of milk supply and the global dairy market. Thankfully, recent USDA guidelines align with Pennsylvania's existing protocols, requiring pre-movement testing and reporting for dairy cattle.

While these measures are crucial, Pennsylvania emphasizes proactive biosecurity to prevent outbreaks and ensure swift responses if they occur. Collaboration between state agencies, Penn State Extension, and diagnostic labs provides resources to all farmers for herd and livelihood protection.

These resources highlight the importance of:

  • Traceability: Tracking animals for disease identification and control.
  • Food Safety Guidelines: Ensuring safe food production practices.
  • Biosecurity Plans: Creating a plan to minimize disease introduction and spread.
  • Reporting Sick Animals: Promptly notifying authorities of animal health concerns.

The Department of Agriculture facilitates communication through weekly industry calls featuring state veterinarians and food safety officials. These calls offer valuable guidance and address farmer concerns.

This disease threats can strike any animal operation, regardless of size or experience. However, it assures farmers that they are not alone.

By acknowledging challenges, learning from past experiences, and working together on biosecurity, Pennsylvania aims to safeguard animal health, food security, and public well-being. Farmers are encouraged to utilize available resources and prioritize biosecurity planning.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-digitalvision

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Categories: Pennsylvania, Livestock

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