The avian flu epidemic is forcing state agriculture officials to consider new rules about upcoming poultry shows with the possibility of canceling events at the Iowa State Fair and a host of smaller events across the state.
Tricia Rosendahl, manager of the Wright County Fair in Eagle Grove, says they’ve decided to cancel this summer’s poultry event. “It was a team decision between emergency management, the sheriff’s department and the Wright County Fair board that at this time we need to cancel the poultry show at the Wright County Fair due to the bird flu.”
Wright County has more poultry than any other county in Iowa, with some 15 million birds at 20 operations. Rosendahl says the poultry show is one of the fair’s more popular events each year.
“We do have a large number of exhibitors in that building and with those projects,” she says. “We appreciate the support the community gives to us and we want to make sure we’re being a member of the team and what’s happening and support the efforts to keep it from spreading.”
In the last few weeks, three cases of avian flu were reported at poultry facilities in Wright County, impacting more than 4 million laying hens. On Wednesday, state ag officials announced two more probable cases of bird flu at turkey facilities in Sac and Calhoun counties for a total of 62 outbreaks statewide.
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)