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Bird flu outbreak kills more than 100 vultures in Sussex County

LAFAYETTE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is aware of more than 100 black vulture deaths that have been occurring since early August off the Sussex Branch Trail in Lafayette Township.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the cause as avian influenza (bird flu), officials said.

This is a phenomenon that has been observed in many states along the East Coast, officials said.

Black vultures are seemingly very susceptible to Avian Influenza, and they tend to scavenge the carcasses of dead vultures, which can prolong the duration of a local outbreak such as the one being seen in Sussex County, officials said.

“The birds have been left to decompose on site due to rough terrain causing accessibility issues and a lack of personnel in the State certified to handle infected birds, officials said.

The risk of avian influenza being transmitted to people is extremely low, officials said.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Fish and Wildlife are monitoring the situation.

For questions regarding poultry, contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-671-6400.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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