- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A year-long poultry ban at state fairs in Pennsylvania is about to be ended.

The state Department of Agriculture said Thursday the poultry suspension will be lifted on Wednesday for the state’s 109 county fairs and the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Chickens, ducks and other poultry were barred in May 2015 as a precaution to protect the state’s poultry industry against the threat of avian influenza, commonly known as bird flu.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza killed tens of millions of birds last year. The virus spreads when domestic poultry come in contact with wild birds that carry the disease.

Poultry exhibits now must test negative for the virus at least 30 days before the fair.

State officials say the ban will be reinstated if Pennsylvania has a positive case.

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