Governor Josh Shapiro met with Lancaster County farmers at Silver Valley Farm to discuss the Hi-Path Avian Influenza crisis and help support Pennsylvania farmers. Governor Shapiro, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and Senator Scott Martin – the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee – met with local farmers and residents to hear about the challenges they face as a result of the crisis and recovery efforts to help Pennsylvania’s $7.1 billion poultry industry.
Since April 2022 when Hi-Path Avian Influenza first hit Pennsylvania, 31 commercial flocks and 36 backyard flocks have been affected, resulting in a loss of 4,650,840 birds statewide. In the last 30 days, 4 commercial flocks, 20 backyard flocks, and 133,550 birds have been lost in Pennsylvania.
“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 Josh 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.”
“Thank you, Governor Shapiro, for recognizing the seriousness of avian flu, and therefore sustaining the commitments made in the budget. We aren’t resting. Our team is still doing surveillance out in the field, and we want our farmers and producers to know that we are here to help. We’re here to support,” said Deputy Secretary for Animal Health and Food Safety Lisa Graybeal. “It should be everyone’s goal to work towards stopping the spread of this disease. We’re all in this together, and together, I think we’ll get through this.”