posted on February 09, 2014 07:39
The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to stock another 9,000 birds in the late season Pheasant was put on hold. This number was lower than expected as 2,400 birds were being treated for an outbreak of avian cholera.
It was still hoped that the majority of these birds would be saved and released later on. However on the decision was made not to release them for the late season.
The bacterial infection is contagious among birds and has been known to affect other animals. The flock in question had been placed on antibiotics and mortality rates had significantly lowered. However there is a chance that some of the birds might still be carriers of the disease which could spread to wild populations and other wildlife.
That is why the Commission has taken the decision to euthanize the flock. A decision it did not take lightly.
There has never been a recorded cholera outbreak in the wild population of Pennsylvania birds and this is the first outbreak of the bacterial infection for over a decade on a Game Commission farm. Generally, there are about a dozen every year of such outbreaks in game-bird production facilities in the commonwealth.
The birds will now be humanely euthanized in carbon dioxide chambers before being deeply buried on the farm.
There is no proven risk to human health.
The loss is a significant blow to the bird population; as it represented 21% of the planned late season release and 1.2% of the release target for 2013. With the numbers of wild pheasants this year, down an estimated 64% in some areas of the country – this loss will be felt by all those concerned.
Despite the loss however, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has had a successful release year surpassing their target by 9% or 18,000 birds.
The late season Pennsylvania Pheasant Hunting was opened in from December 16th and will be until February 22nd.
Check regulations in the Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest before you go hunting. In some areas only males may be harvested while in other areas male and female birds may be taken.
What do you think of the news? Is it bad news or just unfortunate?