Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

State nixes poultry, birds from fairs and all other events


Due to a recent avian flu outbreak, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture canceled all poultry events across the state for the remainder of the year.

This includes local, county and state fairs as well as swap meets, exotic sales and live bird auctions, according to the news release. According to local University of Nebraska Extension agent Aaron Berger, the decision was made with input from consulting veterinarians.

Nebraska joins more than 10 states that have taken similar steps to protect their poultry flock, the news release states. Counties that have had avian flu to date are Dixon and Knox counties, in the far northeast corner of Nebraska.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 15 states have experienced outbreaks in domestic poultry or captive birds as well as in wild birds. Five states have experienced H5 detections in wild birds only.

Locally there is no club specifically dedicated to poultry or birds, Berger said.

“There are some individuals that have exhibits of poultry projects at fair in the past, but most of those have other projects as well,” he said. “They can still bring static exhibits.”

According to the news release, Nebraska Extension is working to identify options for youth enrolled in poultry projects to showcase their learning and participate in fairs in other ways than having their birds present.

“We know 4-Hers statewide have been learning about the science of animals through their poultry projects; we will help them showcase that work and celebrate their successes in other ways,” said Nebraska Extension associate dean Kathleen Lodl.

Additionally, the news release encourages all bird owners to prevent contact between their birds, including wild birds, and to report sick birds and unusual bird deaths.

Additional information about H5N2 avian influenza can be found online at http://www.nda.nebraska.gov and http://www.4h.unl.edu.


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