31 March 2022
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Board of Animal Health on Thursday announced the 31-day pause of poultry sales and exhibitions effective Friday.
State Veterinarian Dr. Beth Thompson says the temporary pause is necessary to stop the spread of the current H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak in Minnesota’s turkey population, which poses a high risk to poultry but low risk to humans.
“Viruses like HPAI need hosts to continue to spread,” Thompson said. “It’s our job to stop the spread of disease. Unfortunately, in this situation we feel one of the best things we can do for the health of all birds in Minnesota is to take a pause on poultry events through May 1.”
The ban includes all poultry community sales, swaps, fairs, exhibitions and “other events where poultry and susceptible birds are brought together,” the animal health board said.
Direct sales of baby poultry either in stores or via mail by National Poultry Improvement Plan authorized sellers are still allowed.
Earlier this week, Gov. Tim Walz announced the USDA is sending an emergency response team to Minnesota to try and help contain the spread of avian bird flu.
When the bird flu hit in 2015, a lot of Minnesota turkey growers were impacted. The hope this time around is to contain the spread as much as possible.
As of Monday, the flu has reportedly infected two commercial turkey flocks in Meeker and Stearns counties and a backyard flock in Mower County.
More information here.