While Colorado is letting its emergency rule to combat the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza expire on June 30, the state veterinarian is still urging the poultry industry to hold off on shows, sales and other events.
The state initiated the rule on March 30, suspending all poultry shows, including meets, sales, swaps, and competitions, as a result of increased detections of HPAI in Colorado and across the United States.
Although this emergency rule will expire, Colorado flocks remain at risk for HPAI introduction and transmission, State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin said.
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“While this rule will expire, the Colorado State Veterinarian's Office recommends that all poultry shows, sales, swaps and commingling events continue to be postponed or canceled at this time,” she said.
“HPAI has affected more than 40 million domestic birds nationwide, and more than 3.5 million chickens in Colorado alone, and we are asking all Colorado bird owners to practice good biosecurity measures, including limiting exposure of domestic flocks to wild birds and other poultry flocks and limiting introduction of new birds into their flocks.”
Baldwin's office has issued HPAI Guidance for Poultry Shows, Swaps, and Commingling Events. Under this direction, the decision to postpone or cancel poultry shows, sales, swaps and events remains in the hands of local event organizers, except in the case of quarantine, health order, or movement restriction — whether all-state or site-specific. CDA will continue to monitor case trends and assess the risk to Colorado flocks and update guidance accordingly.
The Colorado State Fair announced in early June that poultry shows during the Aug. 28-Sept. 5 fair would be canceled. Other livestock events will still be held at the 150th fair in Pueblo.
HPAI has decimated commercial flocks in the Midwest and spread to backyard flocks throughout the West, including in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The disease has affected nearly 38 million birds in domestic flocks across 36 states. In Colorado, cases have been identified in both wild and domestic flocks. More than 1.4 million birds in Colorado alone have been euthanized to avoid the spread of this deadly viral disease, which has a mortality rate of 90%-100%.