July 28, 2022
US$25 million recovery programme announced for Pennsylvania poultry farmers
Russell Redding, Pennsylvania state Agriculture Secretary, has announced a US$25 million recovery and reimbursement programme for state poultry farmers affected by bird flu, ABC 27 reported.
Over the course of the spring and early summer, the virus affected 17 poultry farms in the counties of Lancaster and Berks, resulting in the death of over 4.2 million birds. The new reimbursement programme will give affected farmers US$25 million to help close the gap and get them started on the road to recovery.
Redding said the poultry industry in Pennsylvania contributes US$7.1 billion to the economy and 26,600 jobs, adding that poultry producers and integrators in Pennsylvania will exercise vigilance, and collectively continue battling this threat to the food system and economy during upcoming migrations.
There are two rounds in the reimbursement grant programme. Only poultry producers and integrators, as well as locations within the 3-kilometer infected zones as specified by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's General Quarantine Order, are now eligible for round one. This week, a direct mailing of the application was sent to the 91 affected poultry farms that were recognised as part of the first round. The deadline for round one applications is September 10, 2022.
Those who experienced losses in the Control Zones will be eligible for round two. When the second round becomes available on the website agriculture.pa.gov, more details will be released.
Bryan Cutler, Pennsylvania House Speaker, said farmers are dealing with a historic avian flu outbreak, affecting many poultry farmers, after years of pandemic and related supply chain and labour shortage issues.
Cutler said the budget for this year demonstrates their ongoing dedication to Pennsylvania agriculture and support for those farmers affected by the avian flu outbreak.
Losses up to US$100,000 will be fully reimbursed. Depending on the volume of applications and the amount of funding available, losses of more than US$100,000 may be reimbursed on a percentage basis.
All control areas were lifted as of July 27. There is still a General Quarantine Order in effect. This keeps Pennsylvania state's ability to impose limitations on infected farms to stop the disease's spread.
- ABC 27