The Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced today that it was cancelling all poultry exhibitions at the Minnesota State Fair and county fairs in 2015 due to the HPAI H5 avian flu epidemic.
“This step makes sense,” says Beth Thompson, assistant director of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. “We need to do everything possible to get rid of this virus and preventing the commingling of birds from different farms is one way to do that.”
In addition to fairs, swap meets, exotic sales and petting zoos will be prevented from exhibiting birds for the rest of the year.
To date, some 88 Minnesota farms in 21 counties have had the H5 virus detected on their premises. Birds on 84 of the farms, some 5,765,332 in number, have already been euthanized.