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Is An Avian Flu Outbreak Heading For Pennsylvania?

Phil Roeder via Flickr
Free range chickens show their stuff during a Farm Crawl in Marion County, Iowa, October 5, 2014. An ongoing outbreak of avian influenza has killed more than 40 million chickens across the Midwest.

Ten-year-old Ammon Hottensmith has been raising turkeys and chickens to bring to the Portage County Fair in Ohio. But he just heard that all poultry events have been canceled this year. The reason? An ongoing outbreak of avian flu that’s snowballed into the worst in the nation’s history.

“Well, I was kind of mad, because I’m taking three poultry projects, and I guess all I have now is a pig,” Ammon says.

It’s the same story for poultry shows in Pennsylvania, Michigan and many other poultry-producing states. But officials say the threat of avian influenza is just too great this year.

“I know it’s disappointing,” says Jim Chakeres of the Ohio Poultry Association. “It was a very difficult decision for the Department of Agriculture to make. Basically any time birds are co-mingled in any location, that provides for an opportunity for diseases to spread.”

Read more of this report at the website of our partner The Allegheny Front.