On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Agriculture lifted the bird exhibition ban that’s been in place since early June, over fears of the avian flu.
Local officials say the lifting of the ban will only benefit local children.
Jo Williams, with The Ohio State University Extension Office of Scioto County said the lifting of the ban should have an impact locally.
“Our kids with poultry projects will (now) be able to exhibit at the fair, unless there is some sort of outbreak and they reinstitute the ban,” Williams said. “This (lifting of the ban) means our kids can go back to operating normally.”
With the ban lifted the Ohio Department of Agriculture is urging poultry and bird owners, to remain vigilant and cautious to protect the health of their flocks.
When the exhibition ban was in effect through April 2016. The ban prohibited the show of poultry in county fairs or gatherings for show or sale, including swap meets.
“Ohio is home to more than 50 million domestic birds which makes out state particularly vulnerable to an outbreak. Thankfully, the disease never took hold here. I believe this is a justification of the steps taken by our producers and exhibitors to mitigate the risk of an outbreak,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director David Daniels in a released statement.
According to released information, the Avian Flu is an extremely contagious virus that primarily affects domestic poultry and is likely spread by wild, migrating birds. While there were not confirmed cases of the disease in Ohio, throughout the spring and summer of 2015 more than 48 million birds nationally were affected.
In 2014 there were 92 youth enrolled in 176 poultry projects, 75 of which are Market Poultry for the Scioto County Fair.
The various market poultry projects locally include, market chicken, market duck, market goose, market turkey, fancy duck, fancy goose, fancy chicken, fancy turkey, hens and pullets and helmeted guinea fowl.
“As I travelled around the state this summer, I was overwhelmed with the maturity and understanding of the disappointed but supportive young people I spoke with who were unable to bring their poultry projects to the fair. It’s a real testament to the strength and importance of our 4H and FFA programs in Ohio,” Daniels said in a released statement.
Because those exhibiting poultry projects did not get to bring their bird to the fair, locally 4-H officials had the kids participate in other ways.
“At this point this is definitely a good thing,” Williams said about the lifting of the ban.
For more information about The Ohio State University Extension, visit scioto.osu.edu.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT