Northwest Iowa – Area poultry producers will once again be able to exhibit their live birds at county fairs, the Iowa State Fair, and the like, effective January 1st, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey says the mandatory ban covered all live bird exhibitions at county fairs, the Iowa State Fair, livestock auction markets, swap meets and sales.
The bird flu outbreak devastated Iowa’s poultry industry this spring. The disease was likely spread by migrating wild waterfowl, like ducks and geese, as they flew north. There was much concern bird flu would reappear this fall as those birds migrated south for the winter, but no new cases were reported.
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, 1 chicken breeding flock, 1 mail order hatchery, and 5 backyard flocks, including several here in northwest Iowa.
No new cases of bird flu have been reported in Iowa since June and the final quarantine was lifted on December 1st. Due to the exhibition ban, this was the first year live poultry wasn’t shown at the Iowa State Fair since 1904.
More information about the avian influenza situation in Iowa can be found at www.iowaagriculture.gov/avianinfluenza.asp.