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State Officials Encourage Vigilance During Waterfowl, Bird Hunting Seasons

Posted: October 30, 2015

State officials are encouraging hunters to follow certain safety practices to help protect the state's poultry industry from the threat of high pathogenic avian influenza.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Game Commission want to make sure that hunters understand the impact the virus could have on poultry farms and to follow a few precautions during and after the hunt. While high pathogenic avian influenza has not been found in Pennsylvania, there is concern the fall and winter migration could carry the virus into the state. The virus, which has devastated poultry farms in Midwest states, is spread by wild birds during migration. The virus also poses a threat to the more than 200,000 pheasants raised by the state for release on public hunting grounds. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture encourages hunters to field dress their birds and to bag and dispose of all organs and feathers in the trash. They also recommend that hunters not enter poultry facilities for at least 72 hours after hunting and to wear different boots and clothes for work and hunting.