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State: No chickens at county fairs this year

May 22, 2015 7:09 am
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180"] (Source: Wikipedia)[/caption]

Emilia Teasdale is reporting in the Columbia Paper the state Department of Agriculture and Markets has placed a ban on all fowl competitions at county fairs statewide as a safeguard against avian flu. The department released a statement this week banning "all breeds of fowl, including chickens, pigeons, turkeys, pheasants, guinea fowl, bantam poultry, geese, and ducks.” The ban includes the Columbia County Fair, which is set for September 2 through 7. County Fair Board of Directors member Angelo Nero said Wed., May 20, he was a little disappointed about the ban, but he understood the state’s concerns about safety. According to Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball, avian flu has not been detected in New York, but it has become a major issue in the Midwest. Linda Tripp, the 4-H Leader at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties said in her 28 years of working with the 4-H this has never happened before. She said in recent years she has seen a lot more bio-security concerns as birds are moved all around the county. Several other states have also banned poultry competitions and exhibitions at fairs, including West Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Minnesota. Read the full story in the Columbia Paper.