Bird Hunters Reminded To Take HPAI Precautions
October 20, 2022
Test results show more than 30 Canada geese sick or dead at Griffin Reservoir, Lackawanna County, were infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).
Hunters who handle wild birds are advised to take precautions. Bird hunters should:
• Harvest only healthy-looking wild birds.
• Wear gloves when handling any wild birds.
• Wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after handling wild birds.
• Dress harvested wild birds in the field.
• Change clothing, including footwear, before coming in contact with any pet birds or domestic poultry
• Wash all equipment, tools, and work surfaces with soap and water, then disinfect with a 10% household bleach solution. Allow to air dry or rinse after 10 minutes of contact time.
HPAI can infect humans, though just one human HPAI case has been reported in the United States during this outbreak.
Since January 2022, the Game Commission, working jointly with the Wildlife Futures Program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has sampled and tested nearly 1,000 wild birds collected from almost every county in the Commonwealth. HPAI had been detected in 47 wild birds While these numbers may seem low, it is important to note that not every bird during a mortality event is tested. The disease is presumed to be spread statewide has likely been responsible for the deaths of thousands of wild birds in Pennsylvania. This recent event at Griffin Reservoir is evidence that the HPAI outbreak had not yet run its course.
HPAI, which is particularly contagious and lethal to domestic poultry, caused major impacts to agriculture in Pennsylvania, too. Statewide, the disease has infected 17 commercial poultry flocks and one backyard flock, leading to the culling of more than 4.2 million birds.
Any sick or dead domestic birds should be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture at (717) 772-2852. Sick or dead wild birds should be reported to the Game Commission at (833) PGC-WILD or online using the Wildlife Health Survey tool at http://www.pgcapps.pa.gov/WHS.