The ban on poultry exhibitions in Minnesota — the result of last spring's bird flu outbreak — has been lifted.
Beginning Tuesday, birds will be permitted at fairs, swap meets, exotic sales, petting zoos and other events, the Minnesota Board of Animal Health announced Monday.
The bird ban, which led to cancellations of live poultry exhibitions at county fairs and the State Fair, was put into effect in May as the lethal H5N2 bird flu raced across the state.
The virus struck 108 farms in Minnesota between early March and early June, resulting in the deaths of 5 million turkeys and 4 million egg-laying chickens.
All infected farms had completed cleaning and disinfection of their facilities as of Nov. 13, and 104 farms have been cleared to restock their barns with birds, the animal health board said.
So, with the bird flu at bay for now, the agency lifted its prohibitions.
In another development, the University of Minnesota Extension will begin recruitment of 4-H members for poultry projects and resume training for poultry judges, said an e-mail from Brad Rugg, the extension's director of fair and 4-H animal science programs. About 3,200 Minnesota youngsters participate in the 4-H poultry program, showing their projects at fairs across the state.