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Last Updated: Friday, 16 November 2007, 13:55 GMT
Poultry show axed over bird flu
Chicken in a field (library picture)
Organisers called the cancellation a "disappointment'
A poultry show at a winter farming fair in Powys has been axed for the second time in three years after an outbreak of bird flu in Suffolk.

The Royal Welsh Winter Fair, at Llanelwedd on 26 and 27 November, was to have featured 250 classes of birds, including chickens and ducks.

The H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found in turkeys on a farm in Suffolk.

Meanwhile, fundraisers cannot get reindeer for a festive grotto because of bluetongue disease restrictions.

About 30,000 turkeys are being culled as a precaution at a number of businesses after the infection was discovered at Redgrave Park farm, near Diss, on Sunday.

The decision to cancel the poultry section at the Welsh fair follows a ban on the display of birds in Britain because of the risk of spreading the virus.

We tried to see if we could find reindeers closer to home, but again that has not been possible,
Julie Hinchliffe, fundraiser

Royal Welsh Agricultural Society secretary Barrie Jones said: "Obviously we are very disappointed at having to take this unavoidable step, but the movement restrictions on poultry are a necessary precaution with which we must comply.

"The poultry show, with nearly 250 classes, is a popular attraction at the winter fair and it will be greatly missed by visitors and by our many enthusiastic poultry exhibitors."

The poultry section was also cancelled because of avian flu following an outbreak in 2005.

Restrictions on other animal movements are also impacting on events in Wales, including Christmas celebrations.

Fundraisers for the Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham had hoped a family of reindeer would become star attractions at a festive grotto.

Most important person

But following the outbreak of bluetongue disease in Suffolk in September, a travel ban on the reindeer remains in force.

"We tried to see if we could find reindeers closer to home, but again that has not been possible," said Julie Hinchliffe, who is from the hospice.

"The reindeers were always going to be a big attraction, but they will now be spending Christmas in Kent.

The grotto is run by a farm shop and garden centre at Holt and every year it raises thousands of pounds to help fund the hospice.

"However, in can assure everyone that the most important person will still be there, Santa," added Mrs Hinchliffe.



SEE ALSO
Royal Welsh poultry show is axed
01 Nov 05 |  Mid Wales

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