The Iowa Department of Agriculture announced today that there will be no live poultry exhibits at all county fairs, and the Iowa State Fair, from now through the end of 2015 amid concerns of avian flu. On Monday, I spoke about how I thought I had already heard this news already, but realized I was mistaken.  Minnesota had made the call to cancel all their bird exhibits, but Iowa was on a "wait and see".  However, the Iowa turkey Federation did make the call that there would be no turkey exhibits.  We had a couple concerned calls asking for verification.  Unfortunately, Monday's mistake has now become truth.

I know there are many poultry farmers and 4H kids who look forward to showing their birds, and others who count on the fair for so many things.  As such, this news is frustrating, although not completely unexpected.  The outbreak has spread so rapidly, and killed so many birds already, it's important to take steps to make sure it doesn't spread further.  As one kid put it on the KWWL news tonight, what could be worse than going to the fair, and all these birds were dead or dying.

This order also prohibits bird sales at auctions and swap meets. Already, millions of birds have been killed by the flu, while more than 25 million birds and more than 60 farms have been infected by this virus. As Iowa leads the nation in egg production, and is in the top 10 in turkey production, we can only begin to understand the impact this will soon have on all of us, and how much worse it could get if the outbreak continues to spread.

Our thoughts go out to all the chicken, turkey, duck, and other poultry farmers out there in this difficult time. We all hope this flu can be cured and resolved as soon as possible.

[VIA: Iowa Department of Agriculture]