Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Poultry festival canceled after bird flu found in Va. (West VA festival)

West Virginia’s annual poultry festival was canceled after the state was placed under a 30-day order suspending all poultry shows and sales following the discovery of avian influenza in a Virginia turkey flock.

Although the virus has not been found in West Virginia, the state Poultry Association decided Monday to cancel the five-day festival because area poultry farmers attending the festival might unwittingly transport the virus to other farmers, said Emily Funk, the association’s executive secretary.

“When we have an avian outbreak like this we try not to get together,” she said. “Try not to go to the grocery store. We try not to associate with each other.”

The festival is held in Moorefield, which will go ahead with its carnival and golf tournament for nonfarming residents. What will be missing are the beauty pageant and various education dinners and activities sponsored by the association, she said.

It’s at least the second time since the 1980s that the festival has been canceled, she said.

State Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass said the low pathogenicity avian influenza found in a turkey flock in Mt. Jackson, Va., about 71 miles southeast of Moorefield, is not the same as the bird flu found in Southeast Asia, Europe and other countries.

Bird flu story source: Charleston Daily Mail

Posted by john T. on 07/10 at 08:13 AM
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