NY officials ban fowl competitions at state and county fairs

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GEDDES, N.Y. (AP) — State officials are banning fowl competitions at the State Fair and all county fairs as a precaution against avian flu.

The ban covers chickens, pigeons, turkeys, pheasants, guinea fowl, bantam poultry, geese, and ducks, and it extends to all chartered county fairs and youth fairs in the state.

There are 45 county fairs and six chartered youth shows for the fair season that runs through October.

Commissioner of Agriculture Richard Ball says avian flu has not been detected yet in New York, but it has been found on more than 170 farms in 20 states in the West, Midwest, and South and two Canadian provinces.

More than 35 million birds have died or been euthanized as a result of what officials call the largest avian influenza outbreak in U.S. history.

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