State ban on all fowl shows will be reassessed in May to see if impacts county fair

Staff Reports Posted 28 March 2022 at 7:57 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: These turkeys were part of the 2014 meat auction at the 4-H Fair in Knowlesville.

The State Department of Agriculture and Markets on Friday announced that it has issued an order to ban all live fowl shows and exhibitions in the state to help prevent the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza to the state’s poultry population. Fowl include chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese.

Locally, the Cornell Cooperative Extension said the state will reassess the status of the ban in May, at which time the Extension will be able to determine if fowl will be included the annual 4-H Fair in late July.

Ag Commissioner Richard A. Ball issued the order as a result of the continuing spread of strains of HPAI in the United States, including detections in New York State. The current outbreak has impacted 17 states so far and is rapidly expanding nationwide, Ag and Markets said in news release on Friday.

“Avian influenza is a very serious threat to all poultry and breeds of fowl, and is continuing to spread in the United States,” Ball said. “By banning fowl shows and exhibitions in New York until further notice, we are taking a commonsense step to limit the co-mingling of birds to slow the spread of this disease in New York State and help keep our birds safe. Our poultry industry is a significant part of New York’s agricultural industry and steps like these are our best line of defense against the disease.”

Ag and Markets is continuing close monitoring of HPAI in New York State and plans to reassess the Notice of Order in late May to determine whether it should remain in place through the summer fair season.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these recent HPAI detections in birds do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States, Ag and Markets said.