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Lansing — Officials in Michigan have lifted a statewide ban on poultry exhibitions that was put in place earlier this year as a precaution to a bird flu outbreak across the Midwest.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development says the decision to remove the ban Wednesday comes after the disease risk and status of the outbreak were evaluated.

Poultry and waterfowl shows were banned at fairs and elsewhere to fight the spread of bird flu. It was aimed at preventing the comingling of birds from different locations. It could be reinstated if the disease re-emerges.

North Dakota and Ohio lifted similar bans earlier this month.

U.S. poultry producers have lost more than 48 million birds in 15 states this year to bird flu.

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