Mother Lode Fairs To Possibly Ax Poultry Shows For Second Straight Year
Sonora, CA – The Calaveras County and Mother Lode fair boards are both contemplating scraping their poultry shows for a second straight year due to a highly contagious disease that continues to plague the state.
The California State Veterinarian has once again recommended this year’s poultry shows be canceled as the Virulent Newcastle Disease is showing no signs of letting up. Last month, Stanislaus County Fair officials decided to heed that warning and dropped the show, prompting Clarke Broadcasting to check with local fair officials to see if they would follow suit.
While still monitoring the situation, Mother Lode Fairgrounds CEO Kenneth Alstott said the issue was already debated at last month’s meeting. “There was a group that had done some extensive work to see if there was maybe a way to hold it at another biosecurity facility. We’re kind of waiting to see how the rest of the Mother Lode fair regions decide,” offered Alstott.
The staff recommend calling off the event at the meeting, advised Alstott, but instead the board voted to move it to this month’s meeting for a final decision. The issue is also on the agenda for the Calaveras County Fair board’s February meeting as fair officials tell us they are taking the same approach.
The main concern is how easy the disease can spread. Alstott explained, “You can walk into an area where the disease has occurred and just by walking out and it’s on your shoes. If after you were to walk into the yard of your own chickens or turkeys, then you could have contamination.”
Last year’s decision to abort the show, as reported here, did not impact on the bottom line, as Alstott relayed, “It probably hurt the small livestock auction a little bit, but not tremendously. You know, not by thousands upon thousands of dollars.” He adds, “With early notice, kids should be able to switch to other small animals to show, like rabbits.
The Calaveras fair board’s meeting is Wednesday, Feb. 12th and the Mother Lode’s is on Wednesday, Feb. 26th. Both meetings are at their individual fairgrounds and each begins at 5:30 p.m.