York County farmer sympathizes with farmers facing avian flu outbreak

York County farmer sympathizes with farmers facing avian flu outbreak

For one York County farmer, this latest outbreak of avian flu takes him back to the 1980s – when he lost his entire flock to the virus.”I can’t believe that in 40 years, now it’s back again. And it looks like it’s going to be maybe worse than it was before,” Bill Rinas said.Rinas remembers the virus moving through the eastern shore and into Lancaster County.”From Lancaster County, we were the first ones to get it here in York County,” he said .His 9,000 birds were dead in days, and his operation was shut down.”It was about a year before things started to die down. And in that year, some people were disinfecting three or four times and it never quite suited them,” Rinas said. He abandoned his chicken house and moved on. He said he was one of the fortunate ones.”Because we had a small flock and we weren’t really totally dependent on that. We had other irons in the fire. We had cattle. We had hogs,” he said.Rinas said he feels for farmers facing this latest avian flu outbreak.”It’s going to be bad,” he said.Current outbreakSo far, six flocks in Lancaster County have tested positive for avian flu.More than 3.8 million chickens have been killed.This week, the state shifted its control zone to accommodate the latest impacted flock, which is in Manor Township.Report avian flu casesIf you suspect live poultry is infected, you are asked to report it to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Service at 717-772-2852.That number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.Symptoms of avian flu in poultry include a lack of energy and appetite.While avian flu is deadly to birds, it’s still safe to eat chickens and eggs.

For one York County farmer, this latest outbreak of avian flu takes him back to the 1980s – when he lost his entire flock to the virus.

“I can’t believe that in 40 years, now it’s back again. And it looks like it’s going to be maybe worse than it was before,” Bill Rinas said.

Rinas remembers the virus moving through the eastern shore and into Lancaster County.

“From Lancaster County, we were the first ones to get it here in York County,” he said.

His 9,000 birds were dead in days, and his operation was shut down.

“It was about a year before things started to die down. And in that year, some people were disinfecting three or four times and it never quite suited them,” Rinas said.

He abandoned his chicken house and moved on.

He said he was one of the fortunate ones.

“Because we had a small flock and we weren’t really totally dependent on that. We had other will go in the fire. We had cattle. We had hogs,” he said.

Rinas said he feels for farmers facing this latest avian flu outbreak.

“It’s going to be bad,” he said.

Current outbreak

So far, six flocks in Lancaster County have tested positive for avian flu.

More than 3.8 million chickens have been killed.

This week, the state shifted its control zone to accommodate the latest impacted flock, which is in Manor Township.

Report avian flu cases

If you suspect live poultry is infected, you are asked to report it to the Pennsylvania Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Service at 717-772-2852.

That number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Symptoms of avian flu in poultry include a lack of energy and appetite.

While avian flu is deadly to birds, it’s still safe to eat chickens and eggs.

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