- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Department of Agriculture is banning out-of-state birds from exhibitions and fairs around the state to help stem the spread of a deadly bird flu that’s hit nearby states.

The restriction announced Friday includes county fairs, FFA and 4-H fairs and the state fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin.

The agency says the bird flu hasn’t yet been detected in Illinois. Agency director Philip Nelson says the restrictions are meant to protect the Illinois poultry industry and allow youths to show livestock at county and fairs this summer.

Federal officials say bird flu outbreaks have cost chicken and turkey producers more than 45 million birds so far, mostly in Iowa and Minnesota.

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