Minnesota ban on poultry events extended again

Minnesota’s temporary ban on poultry events and exhibitions due to the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 has been extended again.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health (BAH) says the statewide ban now runs until July 1. It was first enacted in April and had been extended to June 1.

BAH notes that the direct sale of baby poultry is still allowed, with the ban only affected events where birds congregate. The ban doesn’t apply to poultry products, and there’s currently no food safety concern.

“HPAI cases have been on the decline and at one point we had several days of no new detections in Minnesota,” BAH Interim State Veterinarian Dr. Linda Glaser said in a statement. “However, a small number of recent HPAI detections in new counties is cause for us to extend the ban. This ban primarily impacts backyard flock owners and is intended to protect their birds from a potential pathway for the virus to spread at poultry events.”

State data shows 80 sites across the state have detected HPAI in poultry, affecting over 3 million birds.

A wild fox also tested positive for the bird flu earlier this month.

RELATED: DNR: Fox in Anoka County 1st wild mammal to test positive for bird flu in Minnesota

Health officials say the virus poses no food safety risk to consumers and is a low risk to humans.

The state has an HPAI hotline at 1-833-454-0156 for anyone with poultry to ask questions or report sick birds.