The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has announced that the order cancelling all live bird exhibitions at county fairs, the Iowa State Fair, livestock auction markets, swap meets, exotic sales and other gatherings of birds due to avian influenza has been lifted.
“This is very good news and another sign that we continue to recover from this devastating animal health emergency. We know the ban on exhibitions caused some real challenges for those anticipating showing or selling birds, but we appreciate everyone cooperating as we worked to stop the disease and then allow the industry to recover,” said Bill Northey, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
The Department issued the order prohibiting poultry exhibitions on May 21 in the midst of the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The ban was put into place to minimize spread of HPAI and protect the state’s domestic bird population. Lifting the poultry exhibition ban comes as a result of no new cases of HPAI in Iowa since June and the lifting of the final quarantine on Dec. 1. Iowa is now considered free of HPAI.
A total of 77 premises and 31.5 million birds were affected with the disease in Iowa. There are 35 commercial turkey flocks, 22 commercial egg production flocks, 13 pullet flocks, one chicken breeding flock, one mail order hatchery, and five backyard flocks.