State Enforces Permit Laws At Auction

US - Poultry sellers are adjusting to new state enforcement of biosecurity rules at the Westminster Livestock Auction, which require full compliance by Sept. 6.
calendar icon 21 August 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Guy Hohenhaus, state veterinarian for the Maryland Department of Agriculture, said the changes at the Westminster Livestock Auction's Thursday night poultry sale are due to new enforcement of laws that have been on the books for 15 to 20 years.

MDA recently received a federal grant to help enforce these laws, Hohenhaus said, particularly after concerns that arose after avian influenza broke out in Delaware and the Eastern Shore a few years ago, and more recently in West Virginia and Virginia. The MDA's major concern is controlling avian influenza and several strains of Salmonella, including Pullorum disease, fowl typhoid and Salmonella enteritis, or SE.

While poultry markets were not frequently regulated in the past because of the lack of MDA staffing and resources, the grant allows MDA officials to be more active in poultry regulations and at sales, he said.

The MDA is now enforcing the requirement of state permits for all persons who wish to sell fertile eggs or live poultry, particularly at areas where poultry from different sources are commingling, such as at the Westminster and Grantsville Livestock Auction markets, Hohenhaus said. The permits are free, but require a negative Pullorum-typhoid test from MDA inspectors.

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