COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–The Ohio Department of Agriculture has lifted the ban on bird exhibitions after finding no cases of the bird flu in Ohio.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture made the announcement today saying there was no immediate threat of the avian flu outbreak in the state. However, officials are urging poultry and bird owners to remain cautious in order to protect the health of their flocks during migration season.
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The original ban was issued earlier this year on June 2, and was expected to remain in place until April of 2016. The ban mainly affected independent fairs, the Ohio State Fair and other bird shows.
The avian flu is an extremely contagious virus that primarily affects domestic poultry and is likely spread by wild, migrating birds. The USDA first confirmed the virus in the U.S. beginning in late 2014. While there were no confirmed cases of the disease in Ohio, throughout the spring and summer of 2015 more than 48 million birds nationally were affected. On November 18, the World Organization for Animal Health (known as the OIE) issued its final report on the deadly avian flu outbreaks which declared that the outbreaks in all affected states are now final, closed, and resolved. This now makes the United States free of avian influenza for the time being.