ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Poultry events are once again permitted in New York,

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball lifted the ban on live poultry shows, exhibitions, auctions, sales, meets and swaps on June 3.

According to Commissioner Ball, the decision to lift the bans on these events was made as cases of the highly pathogenic avian influenza decreased nationwide. The Department of Agriculture previously issued bans on March 25 and April 14 as HPAI spread across New York.

As of June 3, New York had not had a case of HPAI in nearly two months.

“New York has taken an aggressive approach to slowing the spread of avian influenza and it has paid off,” Commissioner Ball said in a press release. “With cases decreasing in our state and throughout the country, as well as new data showing very low rates of farm-to-farm transmission of HPAI during the current outbreak, I am confident that it is time to lift the bans on live poultry shows and sales.”

Commercial and hobby poultry farmers are still urged to practice biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of HPAI.

Best practices to prevent transmission of disease at poultry shows or swaps include:

  • Always transport birds in crates that have been cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  • Do not share equipment or supplies with other exhibitors. Always clean and disinfect any equipment between uses, and especially upon return from a fair, swap, or show.
  • If you take some of your birds to a fair or exhibition, be sure to keep them separated from the rest of your flock for at least 21 days upon return and observe for signs of illness.
  • Keep new additions to your flock separated for at least 30 days before comingling them with the rest of your flock. Be sure to monitor them for any signs of disease.
  • Only purchase birds from reputable sellers and inspect birds thoroughly before purchase. Consider only buying from flocks that participate in the National Poultry Improvement Plan.
  • Always wear clean clothes and footwear when entering areas where poultry are housed.
  • Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling or caring for your birds.
  • If there are any signs of illness or abnormalities in your flock, leave your birds home. Do not bring them to fairs, shows, or other events where they will come into contact with other birds.
  • Know the signs of HPAI: sudden death of birds, drop in egg production or misshapen eggs, lack of energy or reduced appetite, respiratory signs including nasal discharge or difficulty breathing, swelling of the eyes and head, or purplish discoloration of combs, wattles, or legs.
  • Report sick or dying poultry to the Department at (518) 457-3502 or dai@agriculture.ny.gov.