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Mid-State Fair cancels poultry shows over Newcastle disease concerns

Posted at 1:24 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 22:41:31-04

The California Mid-State Fair is canceling its youth poultry shows for 2019 over concerns about an outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease.

It’s the latest California fair to cancel its poultry shows because of the outbreak. In February, the Santa Maria Fairpark Board announced that the poultry show at this summer’s Santa Barbara County Fair would also be canceled.

Virulent Newcastle disease has been detected in poultry in Southern California and a quarantine is in effect for Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. A single case of the disease was also reported this spring in Alameda County.

The respiratory disease is highly contagious among poultry and it can be spread to humans who have close contact with infected birds. Birds typically die within days of being infected. Humans may experience flu-like symptoms or pink eye.

Because there is no cure for virulent Newcastle disease, nearly one million birds in Southern California have been euthanized since May 2018, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

While the disease has not been reported on the Central Coast, Mid-State Fair officials say they considered recommendations from the Department of Food and Agriculture and determined that canceling the shows “is in the best interest of the community and the California poultry industry.”

Fair officials say they look forward to providing the poultry shows again in 2020.

To learn more about the virulent Newcastle disease outbreak in California, visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s website.

The 2019 California Mid-State Fair runs from July 17 to 28 at the Paso Robles Event Center.