By DYLAN SMITH, NEWS3 Reporter
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (NEWS3) – Amidst the avian flu outbreak in Illinois, the state has taken a 45-day period in which poultry shows will not be held.
This is the first time since 2015 that Illinois has been affected by the avian flu. As a result, the Department of Natural Resources is asking residents to remove bird feeders and bird baths from their yards.
“Hopefully a lot of this situation is because of a wild bird flock,” Illinois Director of Agriculture Jerry Costello said.
The first reported outbreak occurred on March 4 in Mclean County. The second, and most recent, outbreak was reported on March 31 in Carroll County. Both reported outbreaks affected non-poultry flocks of 40 birds or less.
Costello said that Illinois is potentially at the tail-end of the outbreak. He encourages residents to do what they can to mitigate the problem.
“We’ve [legislators] asked people to make sure that they have strong biosecurity,” Costello said. “At any point you can, keep your animals inside. This is a foreign animal disease, so we need to take an abundance of caution.”
Other states like South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota have taken a direct hit to their commercial-poultry.
On April 5, Illinois took additional measures to protect poultry flocks by prohibiting the sale or exhibiting of poultry and poultry products at swap meets, exhibitions and flea markets.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture will reevaluate the situation in mid-May.