WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Despite worries this spring regarding the national spread of avian influenza, otherwise known as bird flu, feathery faces like this will greet local fairgoers this summer. 

Live fowl shows were given the green light from the Department of Agriculture as health officials were able to contain the virus, lifting a previous ban just in time for fair season.

Jefferson County Small Animal Superintendent Christine Stein is working to protect the health of all animals, including birds, as the fair’s opening date approaches.

“To my understanding, we haven’t had a case since April, so everything’s been pretty clear, the birds have been safe,” Stein explained. “We will be monitoring the birds, there’s a state vet on site.”

Prior to the show, bird owners are required to check their animals for signs of disease, which are all standard procedures. But overall, Stein said bird flu is not a concern. 

“This is pretty standard,” she said. “Every year we watch the birds, we monitor the bird, we talk with the owners. I think everybody is thinking about it a lot more, but I don’t think anything dramatic has changed to our standards.”

Stein said that the excitement to have birds return to the fairgrounds has been brewing since the ban on live poultry events was lifted in early June. In total, she is expecting nearly 70 birds.

“Everybody was very excited. There was a lot of disappointment when we didn’t think we would have the show. 4-H kids raise their birds all year and to have them not able to come was a pretty big hit. So we’re very happy to be able to bring them back,” Stein shared.

The Jefferson County Fair will open to the public on Tuesday, July 12 and remain open until Sunday, July 17.