Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Announces Order Cancelling Live Bird Exhibitions

DES MOINES, Iowa (November 10, 2022) – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today announced an order cancelling all live bird exhibitions at fairs and other gatherings of birds due to the continued threat of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

The order also prohibits live birds from being sold or transferred at livestock auction markets, swap meets, and exotic sales. The Department’s order begins immediately and is effective for a minimum of 30 days, and until 30 days has passed without a confirmation of a new infection of HPAI in domestic poultry in the state.

A similar order was put into place on March 23 and was lifted on June 3.

Commercial and backyard flock owners should prevent contact between their birds and wild birds. Sick birds or unusual deaths among birds should be immediately reported to state or federal officials. Biosecurity resources and best practices are available at iowaagriculture.gov/biosecurity. If producers suspect signs of HPAI in their flocks, they should contact their veterinarian immediately. Possible cases must also be reported to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship at (515) 281-5305.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections in birds do not present a public health concern. It remains safe to eat poultry products. As a reminder, consumers should always utilize the proper handling and cooking of eggs and poultry products. An internal temperature of 165˚F kills bacteria and viruses.

About HPAI

HPAI is highly contagious viral disease affecting bird populations. HPAI can travel in wild birds without those birds appearing sick, but is often fatal to domestic bird populations, including chickens and turkeys. The virus can spread through droppings or the nasal discharge of an infected bird, which can contaminate dust and soil.

Signs of HPAI include:

•           Sudden increase in bird deaths without any clinical signs

•           Lethargy and lack of energy and appetite

•           Decrease in egg production

•           Soft- or thin-shelled or misshapen eggs

•           Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks

•           Purple/blue discoloration of the wattles, comb, and legs

•           Difficulty breathing

•           Coughing, sneezing, and/or nasal discharge (runny nose)

•           Stumbling or falling down

•           Diarrhea

For additional information on HPAI, please visit https://iowaagriculture.gov/animal-industry-bureau/avian-influenza.

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