SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today that it has filed emergency rules prohibiting the sale or exhibiting of poultry and poultry products at swap meets, exhibitions, flea markets, and auction markets in Illinois to prevent the spread of avian influenza.
The Department’s emergency rules take effect immediately and may be effective for up to 150 days. However, after 45 days, the Department will reevaluate based on the avian flu status at the time and may repeal the emergency rules at that point. If the situation requires further cancellation, the Department will continue to evaluate in 45-day increments for up to 150 days.
“Protecting animal health in the state of Illinois remains our number one priority,” said Dr. Mark Ernst, IDOA State Veterinarian.
“The decision by IDOA to cancel poultry related events is an appropriate one. The High Pathogenic Avian Influenza disease, or HPAI, is a very serious one that affects all types of poultry such as laying hens, broilers, and turkeys, as well as waterfowl and gamebirds,” said Dr. Kenneth W. Koelkebeck, Professor of Animal Sciences and Extension Specialist in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “HPAI, has been detected in commercial and small flock poultry and gamebird operations in about one-half of the states in the U.S. Because of this, it is imperative for poultry producers to step up their biosecurity measures to reduce the possibility of their birds contracting HPAI on their farms.”
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recent HPAI detections do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 ˚F is recommended as a general food safety precaution.
People should report any unusual findings in domestic poultry such as increase in mortality, decrease in water consumption, decrease in egg production, or respiratory signs including coughing and sneezing immediately to the IDOA at 217-782-4944 or the USDA at 866-536-7593.
For more information regarding Avian Influenza including links to the USDA’s websites and biosecurity tips please visit IDOA’s website at Alerts and Important Animal Health Information - Animal Health and Welfare (illinois.gov).