Reports from USDA indicate that highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been confirmed in several midwestern states (not Ohio to date). Families may remember that an avian flu outbreak in 2015 resulted in the Ohio Department of Agriculture prohibiting live poultry exhibitions. If this would happen again, there is already a plan in place to handle fair exhibition. Per the Muskingum County Fair Book: If the Ohio Department of Agriculture or United State Department of Agriculture would place a ban on live animal exhibition; in which case, youth are permitted to sell one approved educational display entered in place of the live animal as long as they have no opportunity to participate in a Junior Fair Livestock Sale (Bossy’s Jug, Large Animal Sale or Small Animal Sale).
- Families should keep this possibility in mind during the project enrollment process and enroll in projects accordingly. This may include enrolling in a second non-poultry livestock project or a still project if the child does not want to exhibit a poster at the fair. Projects cannot be added or changed after the April 1 deadline. We will share updates as they are available.
Visit USDA’s Defend the Flock Resource Center for information on protecting your project animals.