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Avian Flu cuts lactating cows out of Ingham County Fair

Ingham County Fair sign
Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 12, 2024
  • The Ingham County Fair is leaving lactating cows out of its livestock show due to Avian Flu
  • Poultry shows are still happening as long as an outbreak at poultry farms doesn't occur

The Ingham County Fair is fast approaching but one element to its live animal shows is seeing a change thanks to the Avian Flu.

The fair will not have any lactating cows in its livestock shows after several herds of dairy cattle became infected with Avian Flu in March. Poultry shows will continue as long as no outbreak occurs within 30 days of the fair.

Lactating cows were axed from the annual gathering after an outbreak occurred 60 days prior. Lindsey McKeever, director of events at the fairgrounds, said there will be more than 100 head of cattle at the fair this year. McKeever released a statement in response to inquiries from Fox 47 News:

"As of right now, the way the MDARD regulations are written, milking cows will not be permitted to exhibit. We usually exhibit less than 10 milking cows during the Fair, this impacts 1 to 2 families.

As of right now, poultry will be allowed to show at the Fair unless there is a positive case 30 days prior to the Fair or the MDARD regulations change. If this changes, then there would be a larger impact on the Fair and on the families that exhibit poultry. If we are not able to exhibit poultry at the fair we will likely move to video judging and pre-processing so the meat can still be sold at the auction.

The Fair will continue with our high standards of biosecurity and we will continue to monitor the situation and put the MDARD recommendations into place. Most importantly, guests need to wash their hands after visiting animal barns and before eating at the Fair.

In closing, as of right now, to the regular fair-goer, there will be no noticeable changes."

—Lindsey McKeever, Fairground Events Director, Ingham County Fair Board

The story has been corrected and updated to reflect that only lactating cows will not be shown at this year's Ingham County Fair and that it will host non-dairy cattle

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Mason, Leslie

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Hannah McIlree