Illinois shuts down poultry events to prevent spread of avian influenza

In an effort to slow the spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, the Illinois Department of Agriculture has cancelled upcoming live bird exhibitions and sales.

The department filed an emergency rule Tuesday prohibiting the sale or exhibition of poultry and poultry products at swap meets, shows, flea markets and auctions, which takes effect immediately. The rule may be effective up to 150 days, but the department will reevaluate the situation every 45 days and can repeal the rule at that point.

State Veterinarian Mark Ernst says they are optimistic to be able to resume poultry events once the migratory bird season comes to an end, but until exposure of the disease to Illinois flocks decreases, they are taking every step they can to protect the state’s poultry sector.

There have only been two confirmed cases of HPAI in domestic birds in Illinois- both in noncommercial backyard flocks. However, there have been confirmed cases in wild birds in Illinois, and some surrounding states are battling multiple cases in domestic poultry.

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