Ban On Live Poultry Sales Lifted Posted

HARRISONBURG — Life can go back to normal at county fairs, auctions and other events involving live poultry, state officials say.
calendar icon 31 July 2007
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That’s because the ban on live poultry sales and shows was lifted at midnight today, three weeks after the discovery of avian flu antibodies in a flock of 54,000 turkeys on a Shenandoah County farm.

State Veterinarian Richard Wilkes lifted the ban, which forced several county fairs to cancel poultry shows after it went into effect July 9.

"It’s good that they’re lifting the ban on two fronts," said Tony Banks, assistant director for the Commodity Marketing Department at the Virginia Farm Bureau. "It means anyone involved in a fair can go back to their business, and it’s good because the protocols put in place are working."

The ban ended after the testing of thousands of birds in the Valley found no signs of the avian influenza strain, which does not pose a risk to humans, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Elaine Lidholm, a spokeswoman for the department, said the testing also included birds not used for commercial purposes.

The infected flock on an unidentified poultry farm in Shenandoah County was destroyed. Testing of 30 backyard flocks within a 6-mile-radius of the farm found no additional positives, according to a press release.

Source: DNRonline
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