Poultry exhibits will again be part of Pennsylvania’s county and community fairs this year, according to Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. It was banned in 2015 because of bird flu.
Redding said that testing protocols will remain in place for exhibitors prior to entering their birds.
“The confirmed cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Tennessee this spring were reminders that the threat of this virus is ever present, so we must remain vigilant,” Redding said in a news release. “Fortunately, Pennsylvania made it through another migration season with no detections of the disease. That’s in large part thanks to our aggressive surveillance work and the diligent planning and preparedness work of the industry and our partners. And while we want to continue to be cautious, ask everyone to be on the lookout, and practice good biosecurity measures, we felt comfortable allowing poultry to be part of this summer’s fairs.”
Exhibitors must first pass testing to ensure their birds are free from bird flu before they can enter the competition at fairs.
“The threat of the bird flu virus is still very real,” said State Veterinarian Dr. David Wolfgang said. “To keep the virus at bay, we have introduced a 30-day testing protocol for birds to participate in poultry exhibits at local fairs. In the past, poultry had to test negative for bird flu at least six months prior to the exhibit date. They must now test negative 30 days out from that exhibit date, or they will not be entered into competitions.”