Serving the High Plains

Avian flu concerns prompt move of poultry, rabbit shows

The Quay County Fair has moved up its 4-H and FFA rabbit and poultry shows to Aug. 1 due to concerns about avian influenza in the region.

The Quay County Extension Service announced the change last Tuesday.

Erin Smith, family consumer science and 4-H agent at the extension office, said the fair board decided last Monday to move up the poultry and rabbit shows by about a week.

The remainder of livestock shows will be during the fair’s usual schedule of Aug. 7-10.

“This is a precaution to insure no possible cross contamination with other species,” the service stated in a Facebook post about the poultry and rabbit shows being rescheduled. S

“No cases (of avian flu) have been reported in Quay County so far,” Smith said Wednesday. “This is all precautionary.”

Smith said the rabbit show would begin at 8 a.m. on Aug. 1, with the poultry show after that. Both shows would be wrapped up on that day.

“It’s going to be similar to what we’re doing at the fair,” she said.

Smith said the move would affect at least 14 exhibitors and nearly 100 animals so far.

The extension service stated the rabbit and poultry shows will be open only to 4-H and FFA members, with no open entries accepted.

The fair will be in contact with FFA and 4-H members to inform them about scheduling for the shows.

Rabbits and poultry still can be entered into the fair-closing Junior Livestock Auction on Aug. 10.

Those who have additional questions about the fair should call (575) 461-0562.

The Roosevelt County Fair announced in late June it had canceled its poultry show due concerns over avian flu. A case of the highly contagious disease was found in April at a poultry facility in the county.

A case of bird flu was found this spring at a poultry facility in Farwell, Texas.

Six confirmed cases of avian flu also were found in New Mexico dairies, along with dairies in Kansas, Texas and Michigan.

It isn’t the first time the Quay County Fair has been affected by livestock epidemics. An outbreak of enteritis in early 2018 killed a number of rabbits in the region and depressed the number of entries at the fair.