Stanislaus County Fair officials announced on Monday, March 18 after the board meeting to cancel all poultry shows for the 2019 Fair livestock program.
The decision comes after California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and USDA recommended all Fairs evaluate their poultry shows due to Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) that seems to be impacting a narrow population of poultry, making some poultry gatherings higher risk than others. CDFA issued a document from the California State Veterinarian titled “Guidance Document: Risk Evaluation for Poultry Exhibition Managers” to provide poultry shows and exhibitions criteria to help evaluate the risk.
“In the best interests of our community and the poultry industry, we have decided to cancel our poultry show for 2019,” said Matt Cranford, chief executive officer for the Stanislaus County Fair. “We understand the impact this decision will have on the youth in our livestock program and wish we had other alternatives. But in accordance with recommendations by CDFA, we will have to postpone our show and hope that this disease is quickly eradicated in our area.”
According to CDFA, the Newcastle Disease is a virus that affects birds and spreads quickly which causes high mortality, especially in chickens. It has been found in pigeons and pet birds and it only takes several hundred virus particles to infect poultry, feathers can spread it, other fomites (e.g. clothing, shoes, vehicles, equipment, etc.). Birds can look healthy, but still be shedding the virus.
The 2019 Stanislaus County Fair opens Friday, July 12 for a 10-day run. Discounted Fair admission tickets, unlimited ride wristbands, and the Fair season pass will be on sale beginning Saturday, April 20, 2019. Corporate ticket sales will also be available to purchase at a highly discounted rate. Visit the Fair’s website for upcoming ticket sale information at www.stancofair.com.