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June 22, 2015

Pennsylvania puts quarantine on poultry coming from states with bird flu

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has placed a quarantine on live poultry and eggs coming from states affected by the highly pathogenic avian influenza, better known as the bird flu. 

The quarantine will require all birds and eggs entering the state for commercial purposes to undergo a 72-hour testing period to ensure it tests negative for the virus.

"With this order, Pennsylvania’s biosecurity efforts are strengthened without impeding commerce," Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said in a press release, "While we know that the disease has not had any known human health impacts, we are taking the necessary precautionary steps to ensure birds and eggs are safe for our consumers.”

Cases of bird flu in the United States have reached epidemic levels, taking the lives of more than 48 million turkeys and chickens across 20 states, concentrated mainly in the Midwest.

This has prompted the development of a vaccination, which has caused a split in the poultry world among those wanting to utilize it immediately and others concerned with using it before it's fully tested.

In addition, the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee has set a July 7 hearing for the United States Agriculture Department to assess the department's response to the outbreak and necessary funding. 

The virus has mostly spread through the Pacific, Central and Mississippi flyways, three of the four bird migration routes that spans the United States. 

It has not done so through the Atlantic flyway, which runs across the East Coast and crosses over Pennsylvania. 

Reuters contributed to this report. 

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