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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: October 12, 2023 10:11 AM
From: Senator Lynda Schlegel Culver
To: All Senate members
Subject: Public Information Regarding Biosecurity
In the very near future, I plan to introduce legislation that would provide the Department of Agriculture the authority to specifically require the posting of dangerous transmittable disease information at domestic animal and feed locations where animals and feed are offered for public sale. While the department currently has broad authority to issue quarantines and regulate the keeping of domestic animals to exclude or contain a dangerous transmissible disease, there are no provisions in law to provide information to the public on how to manage domestic animals to prevent or mitigate disease.

Currently, it is a retailer’s choice to provide such information, even if it is encouraged and provided by a regulatory authority. The current historic, nationwide outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) affects both commercial and backyard poultry flocks. Pennsylvania’s commercial poultry industry is well-connected and receives regular communications on biosecurity and disease management in a variety of ways from regulators and industry partners. However, homeowners who purchase a few poultry for backyard flocks may not be as well-informed, simply because they are not identified as part of the food supply chain.

While this legislation would address the current outbreak of HPAI, the language would apply to any transmittable disease outbreak posing a danger to domestic animals.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB979