Due to the continued presence of Virulent Newcastle Disease in California, the Nevada County Fairgrounds Board of Directors voted unanimously Tuesday night to cancel live poultry exhibits and the poultry and market egg show at the 2020 Nevada County Fair.
The decision was made after Dr. Annette Jones, California State Veterinarian with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), recommended cancelling poultry shows and poultry exhibits in California out of an abundance of caution until the regional quarantine in Southern California is lifted. The recommendation comes after a recent flareup of disease in the Southern California regional quarantine area, and the risk it poses to Fairs and poultry shows throughout the state.
Virulent Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious respiratory disease of birds, including chickens, that spreads quickly and is almost always deadly to poultry. Virus particles can spread by direct contact between birds, and people can spread the disease by moving infected birds, moving equipment and feed, and by wearing clothing and shoes that have been in infected areas. The only way to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease is to euthanize infected birds, and all birds within highly infected areas.
The Nevada County Fair joins numerous other fairs and poultry organizations in California to cancel shows following the recommendation from the State Veterinarian.
“This decision was not made lightly, and we are all disappointed to have another Fair without live poultry exhibits,” said Patrick Eidman, CEO of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. “We can only hope that with most other Fairs following the same recommendation and CDFA’s proactive work in Southern California, that the restrictions will be lifted in time to have poultry return to the 2021 Nevada County Fair.”
To ensure that youth exhibitors in the poultry barn have opportunities to participate in the Fair, there will be various classes within the Youth Poultry Department, including a poultry poster contest and educational poultry booth displays.
Other livestock events and exhibits are expected to proceed as usual at the Nevada County Fair, August 12 – 16. For information about the Fair, visit NevadaCountyFair.com.