Organizers of the National Poultry Show (NPS) in London, Ontario, have decided to cancel the 2022 event due to the ongoing highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreak.
The Poultry Industry Council and Western Fair Association say there are no plans for a further postponement of the major Canadian poultry show that was to be held June 22 and 23.
“The decision comes following a whirlwind week of discussions with attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, regarding the ongoing HPAI situation in Ontario. While the industry is seeing AI positive cases drop in the province, the pressures on producers and industry supporters to operate safely has been significant and the NPS show team wishes to support continued success in managing through this difficult time,” says a release issued by the organizers.
The NPS was also cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID.
“We are so very disappointed to cancel this event for the third year in a row, however the safety of the industry is paramount,” says Ashley Honsberger, PIC executive director. “We appreciate the ongoing feedback and candour of our show exhibitors, customers and sponsors as we navigate the circumstance of waiting another year for the show once again.”
Organizers say all exhibitors and sponsors will receive full refunds for their booths. People who purchased tickets can expect to be contacted this coming week with information on refunds.
As of May 26, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency estimates 1.91 million chickens and turkeys have been directly affected by the ongoing H5N1 outbreak in Canada, with 90 confirmed cases on farms and in small flocks, including 26 cases in Ontario.
In addition to the CFIA’s restricted zones around confirmed cases, veterinary authorities in most provinces have issued animal health orders banning events involving live poultry to minimize the risk of spreading the H5N1 virus.