BROOMFIELD, COLO. — The Colorado Agricultural Commission approved the recommendation of the commissioner of agriculture and state veterinarian to let the Emergency Rule on poultry shows expire on June 30. The rule was originally adopted on March 30 by the Commissioner of Agriculture, Kate Greenberg. Responding to increased cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), it suspends all poultry shows, including meets, sales, swaps and competitions. The State Veterinarian’s office encourages poultry owners to still take precautionary measures and has issued HPAI Guidance for Poultry Shows, Swaps, and Commingling Events.
“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,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin. “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.”
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) will continue to monitor the spread of HPAI and assess the risk to Colorado flocks, but, with the expiration of the Emergency Rules, the decision to postpone or cancel poultry shows remains in the hands of local event organizers, except in the case of quarantine, health order or movement restriction.
If events do take place, the State Veterinarian’s Office strongly recommends that event organizers implement extra precautionary measures to minimize the risk of transmission of HPAI, including:
- testing birds for HPAI prior to event entry
- requiring a health certificate within 72 hours of entry to the event
- veterinary examination of all incoming poultry
- on-site biosecurity measures to limit the spread of disease.
All poultry entering Colorado from out-of-state must still meet the poultry import requirements, including a certificate of veterinary inspection and verification that the poultry have not originated from a HPAI control area.
Additionally, the CDA said bird owners should review their own biosecurity measures, including washing up before and after contact with poultry, changing clothes before entering poultry areas and exiting the property, and disinfecting tools or equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility. Flock owners should keep visitors to their flocks to a minimum and any visitors should wear disposable or protective outer garments.