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Illinois State Fair cancels live poultry shows over bird flu concerns

John Donges/Flickr - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The Illinois State Fair has cancelled live poultry shows this year in an effort to protect from the highly contagious avian influenza.

“The Department works year-round to promote biosecurity for all livestock producers. With the current situation, it remains important for all of us to be responsible and protect against the spread of avian influenza during the Illinois State Fair and county fairs,” said Dr. Mark Ernst, IDOA State Veterinarian.

Junior exhibitors will have an opportunity to receive recognition and premiums through a virtual poster competition. Rules and entry requirements will be available at www.illinoisstatefair.info. The deadline to enter has been extended to July 15, 2022.

County fair 4-H junior poultry shows started the season with a virtual format and will continue throughout the entire county fair season.

“It is our commitment that 4-H youth will still have an opportunity to exhibit, win premiums, and get judged with their 4-H poultry project this year - it will just be in a virtual manner which has proved successful in the early part of the county fair season,” said Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H Livestock Specialist.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture put emergency rules into effect April 5. Those rules prohibit the sale or exhibiting of poultry and poultry products at swap meets, exhibitions, flea markets, and auction markets in Illinois to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

Those who work with flocks, including veterinarians, are advised to report any unusual findings in domestic poultry such as increase in mortality, decrease in water consumption, decrease in egg production, or respiratory signs including coughing and sneezing immediately to the IDOA at 217-782-4944 or the USDA at 866-536-7593.

For more information regarding Avian Influenza, including links to the USDA’s websites and biosecurity tips, visit IDOA’s website at Alerts and Important Animal Health Information - Animal Health and Welfare (illinois.gov).

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