Senate approves measure to control bird flu

 

STATE HOUSE – The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Dawn Euer to control potential outbreaks of bird flu and other animal diseases.

The bill (2022-S 2751) provides the Department of Environmental Management authority to set up a quarantine area consistent with state and United States Department of Agriculture emergency plans to prevent the movement of domestic animals or products when there is a suspected case of a contagious animal disease such as bird flu.

The change was been requested by the DEM to help the state respond to a current outbreak of a highly contagious strain of avian influenza, which has been spreading across the nation since January and has been identified in neighboring states. While this strain does not affect humans, it is lethal to birds and can wipe out an entire flock.

Although there haven’t been any cases reported in Rhode Island yet among domestic animals, Veterinarian Scott Marshall testified that he is confident it is already present in the state’s wildlife.

“Avian influenza is extremely contagious, and can not only wipe out an entire flock – it can move quickly to destroy others because it can travel through wild birds or animals that are sold or transported from one farm to another. I am grateful to DEM for being proactive with this legislation for the protection of animals, farms and those with small flocks in our state,” said Chairwoman Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown).

The legislation now goes to the House, which has passed identical legislation (2022-H 7785) sponsored by Rep. Brandon Potter (D-Dist. 16, Cranston).

 

The nation is on the verge of five confirmed cases of Monkeypox. A man already tested positive in Massachusetts and the CDC expects the same from patients in Utah, New York and Florida. The U.S. is releasing a stockpile of vaccines for those at high risk.       President Biden is headed home after his five-day trip to Asia. He wrapped things up by taking part in a summit with the leaders of Japan, India and Australia. It came a day after he said the U.S. would help defend Taiwan if China invades, much like the support he's shown to Ukraine.       The leader of Ukraine says he'll only meet with Russia's president to discuss ending the war. Volodymyr Zelensky [[ VLO-doe-meer ze-LEN-skee ]] told that to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He said Vladimir Putin is the only one who can stop the three-month attacks.       Polls are now open in Georgia for today's primary election. Governor Brian Kemp is favored to win the GOP nomination. Alabama and Arkansas also have governor races and will begin in-person voting soon. Meantime, Texas has several runoffs and there's a special election in Minnesota.       The Southern Baptist Convention executive committee is meeting today over a report about hiding sexual abuse for years. Church leaders in the country's largest Protestant denomination are accused of ignoring or dismissing complaints. The focus will be on what to do next.        Samsung and Chrysler parent Stellantis will reveal a new battery plant in Indiana today. This comes as Chrysler reportedly ramps up plans to produce electric vehicles. The plant is expected to be built near other pants in Kokomo [[ KOKE-uh-mo ]].