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Minnesota's poultry exhibition ban ends

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health released its temporary poultry exhibition ban Friday, July 1. It was first enacted in April in response to highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Chickens stand ready for judging in the poultry and rabbit barn Tuesday at the Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds in Willmar in this undated file photo.
The Minnesota Board of Animal Health ended its temporary poultry exhibition ban Friday, just in time for the upcoming county fairs.
Clay Conover / West Central Tribune file photo
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MINNESOTA — A temporary poultry exhibition ban, put in place by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health in April and extended twice, was lifted Friday, just in time for poultry exhibitions at local county fairs, according to a news release from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

The ban was enacted to reduce the potential risks of spreading highly pathogenic avian influenza, and included all poultry swaps, fairs, exhibitions and other events where live poultry and susceptible birds were brought together and then dispersed, according to the news release.

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The Minnesota Board of Animal Health said Friday that West Nile virus was confirmed in a Kandiyohi County horse that was euthanized in late July.

“We feel HPAI cases have slowed enough to allow poultry events to resume in Minnesota,” said Board of Animal Health Interim State Veterinarian, Dr. Linda Glaser. “We appreciate the patience and cooperation from everyone affected as we temporarily restricted these events to address the HPAI outbreak in our state.”

There have been no new avian flu detections in Minnesota in the last month, but biosecurity is still the most effective precaution poultry owners can take to protect their flocks, the release stated.

Occasional detections of avian flu in wild birds means the virus is still in the environment and poses a risk to bird owners.

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Birds owners planning to attend local county fairs should take specific biosecurity precautions before and after the fair, including hand washing, reporting sick birds to the fair veterinarians, and keeping birds isolated from the rest of the flock upon returning home, according to the news release.

Jennifer Kotila is a reporter for West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minnesota. She focuses on local government, specifically the City of Willmar, and business.

She can be reached via email at: jkotila@wctrib.com or phone at 320-214-4339.
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