Stay safe at animal exhibitions this summer and prepare your poultry for fairs

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

June 2022

Temporary ban on poultry events and exhibits lifting on Friday, July 1

Chicken at fair

The Board's temporary ban on poultry events and exhibitions is set to expire on Friday, July 1. This ban was first enacted as animal health officials responded to cases of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) across the state this spring. It was extended twice because cases continued to pop up and officials felt these types of poultry events could pose a risk of HPAI being unknowingly transmitted.

With the warmer weather of June and the busy bird migrations slowing around the state, the risk of HPAI spreading in the environment has dropped enough to safely open up poultry events again. Apply for a community sale and exhibition permit online. There are specific requirements for poultry at community sales, which are defined as an event where two or more persons come together to offer for sale livestock or poultry for purposes other than immediate slaughter. Review the Board's poultry sale requirements.

Keep reading...

Changes in Rabies Pre-Exposure Vaccination Schedule

The CDC has updated its recommendations on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) vaccination for individuals who are potentially exposed to rabies virus either through their work or travel. People in the veterinary field are now classified as category 3 risk for rabies exposure - exposure that is likely to be known to have occurred (bites and scratches) and a sustained risk period of 3 years or more after vaccination.

It is now recommended people in category 3 receive two initial rabies vaccinations on days 0 and 7 followed by EITHER a booster vaccination no sooner than day 21 and no later than 3 years after the initial 2-dose series OR a one-time titer check during years 1-3 after the initial 2-dose series. Serial rabies antibody titer checks are no longer recommended for risk category 3. If an individual completed the 3-dose vaccination series recommended in the past, they do not require further boosters or titer checks to be considered vaccinated as long as the third booster was given between day 21 and year 3 and/or the last titer was above or equal to 0.5 IU/ml.

The new PrEP recommendations will help all members of the veterinary field to be protected from rabies by decreasing the cost and time associated with vaccinations and titer checks. Most veterinarians vaccinated with the 3-dose series no longer need to worry about checking titers! Review the CDCs complete recommendation guidance document.

Wash Hands

One Health at animal exhibits

Planning a visit to a petting zoo or another fun family activity involving animals this summer?

Animal encounters featuring petting, feeding, and holding animals are popular activities for kids on summer break. Remember, it’s important to stay healthy while enjoying time with animals. A few simple steps can make your experiences healthier for you and the animals you're visiting. The CDC advises the following precautions under the One Health approach:

  • Wash your hands right after touching animals or anything in the areas where they live, roam, or eat.
  • Wash your hands when you leave animal areas, even if you didn’t touch the animals.
  • Running water and soap are best, but if they are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol and wash your hands with soap and running water as soon as you can.
  • Don’t eat or drink around animals and don’t share your food with the animals.
  • Always supervise children around animals.
  • Children 5 years of age and younger should not have contact with reptiles, amphibians, or live poultry; these animals are more likely to make them sick.
  • Don’t let children to put their thumbs, fingers, or objects (like pacifiers) in their mouths when they’re around animals or in an animal area.
  • Teach children to approach animals with caution and follow the rules.

More One Health guidance is available on the CDC website.

The 2022 HPAI response impact to date

Minnesota's HPAI response is not over yet. Here's a quick look at some of the numbers:

28 counties with infected premises.

81 affected premises (60 commercial, 21 backyard).

2.9 million birds.

125,000 estimated number of birds tested for avian influenza.

214 responders deployed to Minnesota's HPAI incident:

  • 28 Board of Animal Health
  • 63 Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • 6 Other Minnesota Agency
  • 111 U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • 6 Other (contractor, other state, etc.)

Safely transporting animals in hot weather

Keep these points in mind when transporting animals to help minimize heat stress.

  • Load the animals last. Make sure you have all your health papers, equipment, feed, etc. loaded and ready to go before putting animals in the trailer. Livestock should be on the trailer for the shortest amount of time possible.
  • Haul animals during the cooler parts of the day (morning or evening).
  • Some livestock may benefit from a quick spray of cool water once in the trailer.
  • Try to drive directly to your destination. Keep stops to a minimum to avoid heat buildup inside the trailer.
  • Don't overstock the trailer. Leave plenty of room for animals inside so they can stay cool and relaxed.
  • Make more than one trip if necessary.
  • Always follow humane animal handling practices.

Board Updates

The Board of Animal Health's next quarterly meeting is set for September. Agenda items, location and specific time and date will be announced once they're confirmed. Follow updates, view past meetings and see who's on the Board on our website.