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No poultry shows at Elkhart County Fair

The Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board announced there will be no poultry display or poultry-related events at the fair this year because the Indiana State Board of Animal Health ordered a ban on transporting poultry.

Fair officials say this means there won't be birds in the poultry barn, no chicken flying contests or rooster crowing contests.

They are working to find a way 4-H Poultry Club members can participate in this year's fair.

The transport ban is to prevent the spread of the H5 avian influenza virus.

The state put a ban on bird movements in the state that co-mingles birds from different locations, like shows, exhibitions and public sales.


The virus is not a threat to food-safety or human health but can be deadly to domestic poultry.

“While it is a disappointment that the poultry shows at the 2015 Elkhart County 4-H Fair have been canceled, we fully support the Board of Animal Health's decision and understand the significance of helping prevent the spread of the H5 Avian influenza virus,” said Bryan Blair, general manager of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair. “As one of the top county fairs in the nation, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair is always concerned with the health and welfare of animals that are exhibited at our fair and we will work closely with and support the  Elkhart County 4-H Poultry Club and Purdue Extension-Elkhart County to develop alternate programming and events for its members at the fair this year.”

The fair schedule has already been printed, so the events will be listed there, but will not be on the fair app.

The ban on poultry movement is in effect, likely through the end of 2015, according to the state.

Robert Kelly, extension educator for 4-H youth development says he's disappointed, but wants to use the ban as a lesson for 4-H participants.


"This is a good opportunity to teach our young 4-hers about bio security, keeping animals healthy and raising healthy products," Kelly said. 

Linda Baldwin, the aunt of a 4-H poultry club participant is not so optimistic about this change.


"All these kids, they work so hard. They work with their chickens and their roosters and their ducks and whatever else they bring out there and now they're not going to be able to bring them to the fair. I just think that's a waste of their time," Baldwin said. 

 


Click here for more information on the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
Click here for more information on the Elkhart County Fair

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