Avian flu worries mean no live poultry exhibits at 2015 Minnesota State Fair

There will be no live poultry exhibits at the Minnesota State Fair, or in other public places, following a directive issued by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The board hopes that the order will help slow the spread of avian flu, which has affected millions of turkeys and chickens in the state.

The order forbids all public bird exhibitions in the state, including those at county fairs, swap meets and petting zoos.

Instead of live chickens and turkeys, the State Fair’s Poultry Barn will “feature interactive displays and presentations about Minnesota’s poultry industry and its huge contribution to the state’s economy.”

There is precedent for the fair’s action. Officials say that occasionally during its 160-year history, the fair has modified, restricted, and even canceled events for animal health reasons.

The Fair said, in making such decisions about animal issues, it consults with the Board of Animal Health, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, Minnesota 4-H and FFA and other animal producers associations.

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