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State ban on poultry events, exhibitions extended to July 1

A temporary statewide ban on poultry events and exhibitions has been extended a second time, this time until July 1. It includes all poultry swaps, fairs, exhibitions and other events where live poultry and susceptible birds are brought together and then disperse.

Hens in factory, Chicken in cages
Chickens at commercial farm.
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ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has extended its statewide ban on poultry events and exhibitions until July 1, according to a Thursday news release.

The ban, meant to reduce the likelihood of spreading H5N1 highly pathongenic avian influenza, was first set in place in April, and has already been extended once. It includes all poultry swaps, fairs, exhibitions and other events where live poultry and susceptible birds are brought together and then disperse.

“HPAI cases have been on the decline and at one point we had several days of no new detections in Minnesota,” said Board of Animal Health Interim State Veterinarian Dr. Linda Glaser in the release. “However, a small number of recent HPAI detections in new counties is cause for us to extend the ban. This ban primarily impacts backyard flock owners and is intended to protect their birds from a potential pathway for the virus to spread at poultry events.”

Any detection of HPAI in a backyard flock means the owner must cull the flock and also refrain from obtaining any new birds for 150 days afterward. BAH officials encourage backyard owners to implement biosecurity measures to preemptively protect their flocks.

The release notes that direct selling of baby poultry is still allowed through private sales, stores, or via mail by National Poultry Improvement Plan authorized sellers. The ban only applies to events where birds congregate and does not apply to poultry products. The current HPAI outbreak in Minnesota poses a high risk to poultry but low risk to the public. There is no food safety concern for consumers.

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For the latest information on HPAI in Minnesota, as well as resources for poultry owners, visit www.mn.gov/bah/hpai .

Kit Grode joined the West Central Tribune as the features and sections editor in July 2021. She oversees the weekly Showcase and Extra feature segments and also the WCT's special sections.
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