Michigan and Ohio have joined Indiana in banning all live bird exhibitions in an attempt to help prevent the spread of the so-called bird flu. The Ohio ban affects all county and independent fairs including the Ohio State Fair. Also affected will be bird gatherings for show or sale. Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H have developed programming to allow poultry enthusiasts to demonstrate their knowledge at fairs and exhibitions this summer without exhibiting live birds. No avian influenza has been detected in Michigan.
The Michigan ruling extends beyond poultry and includes game birds, such as quails, pheasants and pigeons. MSU Extension will not allow the display of any live birds as a part of any 4-H project. That includes canaries, parrots, parakeets, macaws and other species that are part of the 4-H small animals program known as ‘pocket pets’.