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 CDC is warning gay and bisexual men as monkeypox spreads to the U.S. This comes after the World Health Organization announced the recent surge in cases likely spread among men who have sex with other men. However, WHO officials emphasized anyone can contract the virus.        Wall Street is rallying to start the week. Bank stocks and tech shares led the rebound as all three major indexes gained more than one and-a-half percent. Investor sentiment appeared to get a boost early today after President Biden said he's considering whether to lower tariffs on some goods imported from China.        Georgia officials believe the state's new voting law is driving a record turnout at the polls for the 2022 primary elections. Georgia's Secretary of State announced over the weekend that the three-week voting period saw voters show up in record numbers. In March, President Biden called the law "Jim Crow 2.0.," saying it was an effort to suppress Black voting power.       Parents of students killed in the Oxford High School Shooting in Michigan is suing the school district. The lawsuit claims school employees didn't follow the district's process for handling students with suicidal ideation. The parents say accused shooter, then 15-year-old student Ethan Crumbley, clearly met the standards of the policy.        Nearly a dozen potential jurors are being dismissed from the penalty trial of confessed Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz. The judge accused one woman of wearing a shirt that read "Teacher Strong" on purpose to get out of jury duty, before dismissing her. Once seated, the jury will decide on a possible death sentence for Cruz after he pleaded guilty to killing 17 people at the school in 2018.       Kanye West is announcing a surprising new collaboration. The rapper now known as Ye took to Instagram to share that he teamed up with a famed Japanese industrial designer to reimagine packaging for McDonald's. The fast-food chain hasn't confirmed the collaboration.