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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Show bans pigeons over bird flu
Racing pigeon
506 entries had been received for the first year of the pigeon classes
Pigeons and poultry have been banned from a North Yorkshire agricultural show over concerns about bird flu.

More than 1,500 birds had been entered for the Countryside Live Food and Farming Fair in Harrogate this weekend.

Following fears about avian flu, the event organisers contacted the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

DEFRA said the deputy chief veterinary officer had decided not to let the pigeon and poultry sections go ahead.

The EU has implemented an immediate ban on all shows, markets, fairs and sales involving the collection of birds across the EU.

Safety first

Honorary show director, Bill Cowling, said the rest of the event would continue as planned at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

"We are of course disappointed that these two important elements of Countryside Live cannot go ahead, but clearly the safety of people and the birds must come first so we have no hesitation in complying.

"Whilst these are important sections, the rest of the show remains intact."

This would have been the first year of the pigeon classes which had attracted 506 entries.

The poultry classes, which were launched in 2004, had this year received 1,078 entries.

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