LANSING – On June 1, after much deliberation and consideration with the Michigan Association for Fairs and Exhibitions (MAFE), Michigan 4-H leadership and the Michigan Allied Poultry Industry, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill made the difficult decision to cancel all 2015 poultry and waterfowl exhibitions in Michigan to prevent the comingling of birds from different locations. This includes, but is not limited to shows, exhibitions, swap meets, petting zoos at fairs, game bird and waterfowl fair displays, and Miracle of Life exhibits.
“We know the tremendous amount of time, money and passion the kids and other exhibitors invest into their birds and the importance of having livestock animals at these events to interact with the public,” said Averill. “The rapid spread of these avian flu viruses is historic and has impacted more than a dozen states across the U.S. While there are currently no known cases of HPAI in Michigan, commitment to protecting the health of all of the state’s poultry flocks - backyard and commercial farmers – led us to making this difficult decision.”