Written by Tyler R. Etter
On November 10, 2015, West Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick announced that he was
lifting the ban on gatherings of live poultry. West Virginia is the first state to lift its ban on these
The ban has been in place since May of 2015 in response to the outbreak of avian influenza. Ohio and
Pennsylvania enacted similar bans, which are still in place. Spokesperson at the Pennsylvania
Department of Agriculture stated that the ban will be re-evaluated next year, and the Ohio Department
of Agriculture has also stated that it will potentially reevaluate the ban at the beginning of the next year.
The West Virginia Ag Director is continuing to urge the exercise of caution and biosecurity habits, due to
the possibility of reappearance due to exposure from wild birds. Poultry is West Virginia’s most valuable
agricultural sector, valued at $355 million.