SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced stricter emergency rules to prevent the spread of avian influenza, or bird flu, Tuesday.

According to an Illinois State press release, the emergency rule will prohibit the sale or exhibiting of poultry and poultry products at exhibitions, flea markets, and auction markets in Illinois.

“Protecting animal health in the state of Illinois remains our number one priority… We are optimistic that as the migratory bird season comes to an end, we will see a decrease in exposure for our flocks here in Illinois and our neighboring states, and be able to resume our poultry exhibitions and sales. Until that time, it is essential that we take every step possible to protect poultry flocks in Illinois.”

Dr. Mark Ernst, IDOA State Veterinarian.

The emergency rule took effect immediately and will be in effect for up to 150 days. IDOA will reevaluate the need for the rule every 45 days.

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) detected a case of bird flu in a non-commercial backyard flock in McLean County.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bird flu does not pose an immediate public health concern, and no human cases have been detected in the United States.

Proper handling and cooking of all poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 °F is encouraged as a general food safety precaution.

Flock owners, managers, and veterinarians are also encouraged to report any unusual domestic poultry finding including respiratory signs such as coughing and sneezing immediately to the IDOA at 217-782-4944 or the United States Department of Agriculture at 866-536-7593.