On June 22, 2022, the Colorado Agricultural Commission met to discuss an Emergency Rule on poultry shows that is set to expire on June 30, 2022. The Commission approved the recommendation of the Commissioner of Agriculture and State Veterinarian to let the current rule expire without promulgating a follow-up emergency rule. On March 30, 2022, the Commissioner of Agriculture adopted the rule, which suspends all poultry shows, including meets, sales, swaps, and competitions, as a result of increased detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Colorado and across the United States. Although this emergency rule will expire, Colorado flocks remain at risk for HPAI introduction and transmission.
“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 State Veterinarian’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.
If shows and events take place, the State Veterinarian’s office strongly recommends that event organizers implement extra precautionary measures to minimize the risk of transmission of HPAI. Precautionary measures may include:
- 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, bird owners should review their own biosecurity measures and make sure everyone who has contact with your flock follows biosecurity principles. Flock owners should keep visitors to their flocks to a minimum and any visitors should wear protective outer garments or disposable coveralls, boots, and headgear when handling birds, and shower and/or change clothes when leaving the facility.
Good biosecurity practices include washing hands with soap and water before and after coming in contact with live poultry, changing clothes before entering poultry areas and before exiting the property, and cleaning and disinfecting tools or equipment before moving them to a new poultry facility.
Source: Colorado Dept. of Agriculture