After Months Of Lockdown, Iowa Birds Are Getting More Freedom
After over two months of lockdowns, Iowa birds are finally able to get out to live bird exhibits and gatherings.
On March 23, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced an order that canceled all live bird exhibitions at fairs, auctions, swap meets, sales, etc. To get the order lifted, Iowa poultry operations needed to go 30 days without a confirmed case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the state.
On Friday, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced that they have lifted its March order that canceled these live bird events.
Today’s announcement is a welcome sign of continued progress in our state’s efforts to effectively manage the outbreak of avian influenza and protect Iowa’s poultry flocks. While efforts will continue to prevent additional virus spread, we are pleased to resume poultry sales and exhibitions; a step made possible by our ability to respond quickly from the start.
The last confirmed case of avian influenza was on May 2nd on a backyard mixed-species flock in Bremer County.
Iowa was hit the hardest by this year’s avian influenza outbreak. Since March 1st, 15 commercial and four backyard flocks have been affected by the virus leading to the depopulation of over 13 million birds.
Any poultry sale and exhibit need to be registered through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at least 30 days before the event- a process that can be completed online.
Despite this order being lifted, Iowa bird owners are reminded to remain vigilant about biosecurity to prevent contact with wild birds.
While Iowa hasn’t had a case of avian influenza in over 30 days, the virus is still spreading, affecting flocks in Pennsylvania and Washington on June 2nd.