There will be no poultry show at the Santa Barbara County Fair this summer.
The Santa Maria Fairpark Board voted Tuesday to cancel the show per the recommendation of the California State Veterinarian. It comes amid an outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in Southern California.
Virulent Newcastle disease is a highly contagious respiratory disease in poultry that can also be contracted by humans. Birds typically die within days of being infected. Humans may experience flu-like symptoms or pink eye.
The outbreak began in May 2018 and has been identified in several backyard flocks and commercial poultry operations in Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. More than 60,000 birds have been euthanized as a result of the outbreak.
The decision to cancel the poultry show affects the turkey and chicken meat pen competitions, as well as all breeding poultry competitions. The fair board reportedly decided to cancel the show now, before youth purchase poultry they plan to show at the fair.
All other livestock events are expected to proceed as usual.
The 2019 Santa Barbara County Fair runs from Wednesday, July 10 to Sunday, July 14.