The Person County Cooperative Extension Service and the Person County Museum of History have decided to CANCEL the 4th Annual Person County Farm Tour, which was to be held September 26 and 27. The reason for the cancellation is to protect poultry flocks from a possible outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.(HPAI)
Upon learning of the cancellation of the Eastern Triangle Farm Tour, the Person County tour organizers contacted the State Veterinarian’s office and learned that the NCDA&CS strongly recommended cancelling the Person County tour due to the possibility of transmitting the disease to Person County flocks. The State Veterinarian has already cancelled all poultry shows and sales through January 15, 2016, due to the threat of HPAI.
HPAI is a highly contagious disease that affects many species of birds, including geese, turkeys, chickens, and guineas. It is thought to be transmitted by migrating waterfowl to domestic poultry, so flock owners are urged to implement strict biosecurity measures with their flocks. Those measures include making sure poultry are restricted from areas where waterfowl may congregate, changing footgear before entering the flock spaces, and not allowing visitors access to the poultry house.
This strain of influenza does not affect humans, but humans can become carriers if biosecurity measures are not followed.
The Farm Tour Planning Committee recognized the risk to the farms on the tour as well as to visitors who may have backyard poultry of their own. The committee felt the moral, ethical, and professional decision req2uired cancelling the tour in order to minimize the risk to poultry in Person County and in the state.