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Last Updated: Friday, 14 April 2006, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Highland show cancels bird event
Chicken - generic
Officials want to minimise any possible risk to poultry farms
Organisers of the Royal Highland Show have banned all poultry and live birds because of fears over bird flu.

Managers of the event at Ingliston Showground in June believe the risks in bringing together birds from across the country are too high.

About 500 of the country's rarest farm birds are usually entered for what is the crowd-pulling agricultural event.

Last Wednesday, a dead swan in Fife was confirmed to be carrying the deadly strain of avian flu H5N1.

'Pedigree chooks'

Kate Stephen, the show's livestock and competitions manager, confirmed the annual bird section had been cancelled.

She said: "We always have display birds for the first two days of the show, then competition birds on the Saturday and Sunday.

"We're talking about pedigree chooks - Scottish Dumpies, Old English game hens and all sorts of geese and ducks.

"We just felt we had to make a decision because we would normally be inviting entries from people round about now."

She added: "If the H5N1 situation escalated, we didn't believe we could take it upon ourselves to put at risk the poultry farmers and egg producers a short distance away from the show at Ingliston."

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