Poultry show takes a blow, State Fair says it’s a no-go

Officials cite concerns of avian influenza outbreaks
Avian influenza is highly deadly to birds.
Avian influenza is highly deadly to birds.(Preston Keres / USDA / FPAC | Preston Keres / USDA / FPAC)
Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 12:27 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PUEBLO, Colo. (KJCT) - Highly pathogenic avian influenza continues to spread among domestic poultry across the nation, threatening the stability of the poultry industry. As a result, the Colorado State Fair Board Authority has consulted with the Colorado State Veterinarian and determined that cancelling all poultry shows during the 2022 State Fair was necessary as a precautionary measure.

HPAI has affected nearly 38 million domestic birds across 36 states, and cases in wild flocks have been detected in Colorado. More than 1.4 million birds in Colorado were euthanized to control the spread of the virus, which has a mortality rate of over 90 percent in poultry.

“This was a very difficult decisions, since we know kids look forward to raising and showing their chickens and turkeys, but as cases of avian influenza continue to rise across the country, we first and foremost want to assure the safety of everyone who attends and enjoys the Colorado State Fair,” said Rene Brown, chair of the Colorado State Fair Board of Authority.

The fair will still play host to horse shows, livestock events, and small animal events. “While this is certainly a huge loss for the kids who show their poultry, commingling of birds presents a high risk of disease introduction and transmission, and would be devastating in an outbreak were to happen during the fair,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin. “CDA will continue to monitor the spread of avian influenza and work with county fairs, youth ag organizations, and local veterinarians to ensure bird owners know how to increase their biosecurity measure to protect their flocks.”

This will be the 150th Colorado State Fair, with events to celebrate. The first fair in Colorado was held in 1872, before Colorado became a state.

Copyright 2022 KJCT. All rights reserved.