EAST EARL, Pa. (WHTM) – Governor Josh Shapiro, Senator Scott Martin (R-Berks/Lancaster), and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture met with Lancaster County farmers to discuss the challenges they face with Hi-Path Avian Influenza and the state’s response.

Pennsylvania has lost around 4,650,840 birds to Hi-Path Avian Influenza since it first appeared back in April 2022. Pennsylvania has lost approximately 133,550 birds in the last 30 days.

“Hi-Path Avian Influenza is one of the most significant animal public health emergencies in American history – and it’s hitting us hard here in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Shapiro. “I came here to Silver Valley Farm this morning to meet with some of our farmers and hear their concerns – because I know they’re worried, and I want them to know that my Administration is standing with them and working every single day to protect their flocks. Pennsylvania’s poultry industry contributes over $7 billion to our economy and supports over 26,000 jobs, and we are committed to working together in a bipartisan manner to support our farmers and ensure they have the resources they need.” 

“This could have a severe ripple effect across our economy. But the good news is this: between the industry communications and the absolute responsiveness of the Administration and the Governor’s team, the citizens of not only this county but the Commonwealth and all those who are watching what’s happening here in Pennsylvania can have confidence that we’re not only just committed to dealing with this in the here and now, but how best to prepare as we move forward to ensure that that responsiveness and learning from how we can do things better,” said State Senator Scott Martin. “That starts by taking a real problem and solution approach. I think you’re seeing that happen right now. And Governor, I can’t say thank you enough for being here and standing with the agricultural community and these families in this industry and I have extreme confidence that all working together that we’re going to get this done.” 

Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s website to learn more about Avian Influenza and Pennsylvania’s response.

Governor Shapiro has proposed the following in his 2023 budget relating to Avian Flu.

  • $25 million for the recovery fund
  • $6 million to support the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Lab System and reimburse poultry businesses for supplies for the 549 privately employed
  • $1 million to support the PA Center for Poultry Excellence at PennAg Industries
  • $58.9 million for the Agricultural College Land Scrip Fund – a $1.2 million increase to the fund that supports veterinary research at Penn State
  • Over $34 million for the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary Activities and Center for Infectious Disease
  • Over $2 million for agriculture research

The Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Lab System has run more than 421,000 tests to confirm or rule out the virus in its three state-supported labs, and 691 trained and certified poultry technicians have taken samples on hundreds of farms beyond those where the virus was confirmed.