ANNAPOLIS, MD– The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced animal health requirements for the 2018 fair and show season. Under the new requirements, avian influenza testing will be required for up to 15 birds per flock within 21 days prior to exhibition—this is down from 30 birds last year. Private sales of poultry will once again be permitted at Maryland fairs and shows, but sales records must be maintained by exhibition operators for one year. The new set of requirements will also allow for wild bird displays and table-egg judging contests. There are no changes to livestock requirements this year.

“I strongly support Maryland’s fairs and shows because they showcase the best in Maryland agriculture,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Michael Radebaugh. “However, these kinds of environments can be conducive to the spread of infectious disease if we are not careful. That is why it is critically important that all exhibitors follow our guidelines and practice strict biosecurity.”

Animal health requirements are designed to safeguard Maryland’s animal industries and prevent the introduction and spread of infectious and/or contagious diseases. The continuing threat of High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI) has made poultry restrictions a continued point of emphasis in this year’s requirements.

For details, please see the2018 Maryland Animal Health Fair and Show Requirements. More information is available on the Department’sFairs and Shows website.