Alaska fair cancels poultry exhibits amid bird flu concerns

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Officials with the Alaska State Fair have decided against the usual array of poultry exhibits this year amid avian flu concerns.

Fair CEO Jerome Hertel in a statement said officials believed it was best “to err on the side of caution.”

The fair in Palmer, which begins Aug. 19, usually has poultry exhibits with birds such as geese, turkey and ducks, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The fair will still include a baby chick exhibit, officials said.

In late April, state officials announced the first confirmed case in Alaska of a strain of a highly pathogenic avian flu virus. More than 100 cases have been confirmed so far, according to the state veterinarian’s office. Most states have reported cases.

The office says the risk to human health is low but that the virus is highly contagious among birds and can affect all types of domestic poultry, causing illness or death.

Officials with the Tanana Valley State Fair in Fairbanks also opted against including poultry this year.