Melbourne Royal Show cancels poultry competition amid Victoria’s bird flu outbreak

Melbourne Royal Show cancels poultry competition amid Victoria’s bird flu outbreak

The Melbourne Royal Show has announced it will cancel this year’s poultry competition, as Victoria works to contain the nation’s biggest outbreak of avian influenza.

Strains of the bird flu have been found on eight farms in western Victoria, and more than one million birds have been culled to try and stop the spread.

Strains of the flu have also been detected in New South Wales and Canberra.

Melbourne Royal Show organisers said they made the “difficult decision” to postpone the poultry competition later this year after advice from authorities.

The competition was scheduled to be held on the 26th of September and run for 11 days.

In a statement, the show’s organisers said the decision was made based on guidance from Agriculture Victoria to prioritise the health and safety of the poultry industry and exhibitors.

“We greatly appreciate your understanding and continued support,” they said.

“We look forward to welcoming you back when the Melbourne Royal Poultry Competition recommences in the future.”

Last year, the competition hosted 1,200 chickens, ducks and turkeys throughout the duration of the Melbourne Royal Show.

Cancellations being felt across regional Victoria

Victorian Poultry Fanciers Association president Kevin Smith says regional poultry shows started being cancelled in May just after the first bird flu outbreak.

“Our clubs took a very proactive role in terms of either cancelling or postponing their shows, as soon as we became aware of the outbreak,” Dr Smith said.

“I guess Melbourne Royal have looked at the same factors we have … and that’s the current outbreak of avian influenza.

“It’s not surprising given there is still the active outbreak under management of Agriculture Victoria.”

Dr Smith said while his members were disappointed to miss out on the social aspect of poultry shows, they were also deeply concerned about the wider implications of bird flu.

“People are really looking at putting biosecurity first, and really thinking about ensuring that we do our bit to help in the management of the outbreak,” he said.

“We’re very pleased that people have been very proactive about doing what they can to minimise the risk for the birds.

“Some of the genetics that we have, are unique and perhaps irreplaceable, either in Australia or around the world.”

Posted , updated 

Read More

Zaļā Josta - Reklāma