ILLINOIS STATE FAIR AND 4-H COUNTY FAIR POULTRY SHOWS OFFER VIRTUAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUTH
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today both junior and open live shows at the Illinois State Fair will be cancelled for 2022 to protect from highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Illinois State Fair junior poultry exhibitors will continue to have an opportunity to receive recognition and premiums through a virtual poster competition. Rules and entry requirements will be available at www.illinoisstatefair.info. To allow time for junior poultry exhibitors to adapt to the new format the Illinois State Fair will extend the entry deadline to July 15, 2022.
“The Department works year-round to promote biosecurity for all livestock producers. With the current situation, it remains important for all of us to be responsible and protect against the spread of avian influenza during the Illinois State Fair and county fairs,” said Dr. Mark Ernst, IDOA State Veterinarian.
County fair 4-H junior poultry shows started the season with a virtual format and will continue throughout the entire county fair season. These shows allow youth exhibitors to demonstrate through posters and/or virtual exhibition.
“It is our commitment that 4-H youth will still have an opportunity to exhibit, win premiums, and get judged with their 4-H poultry project this year – it will just be in a virtual manner which has proved successful in the early part of the county fair season,” said Dan Jennings, University of Illinois Extension 4-H Livestock Specialist.
The Department’s emergency rules took effect on April 5, 2022 and can remain into effect up to 150 days. The emergency rule prohibits the sale or exhibiting of poultry and poultry products at swap meets, exhibitions, flea markets, and auction markets in Illinois to prevent the spread of avian influenza.
Flock owners, managers, or veterinarians should report any unusual findings in domestic poultry such as increase in mortality, decrease in water consumption, decrease in egg production, or respiratory signs including coughing and sneezing immediately to the IDOA at 217-782-4944 or the USDA at 866-536-7593.
For more information regarding Avian Influenza, including links to the USDA’s websites and biosecurity tips, please visit IDOA’s website at Alerts and Important Animal Health Information – Animal Health and Welfare (illinois.gov).