San Mateo County Fair suspends 2019 poultry show

South San Francisco, CA   March 14, 2019  Submitted by Rorex Marketing

{update from County below}


Following the advice of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and due to the confirmed case of Newcastle disease in San Mateo County, the San Mateo County Fair is announcing the suspension of its 2019 poultry show in its Agricultural Livestock Department.  The Board of Directors will formally take action on the Poultry Show suspension on March 27 at its regularly scheduled board meeting.


“Due to the severity of this virus [Virulent Newcastle disease] and the serious threat to the poultry industry in California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture recommends that the San Mateo County Fair Board adopt a local policy addressing the suspension of its poultry show for the 2019 fair season,” stated Dana Stoehr, chief executive officer of the San Mateo County Fair.


“Our Board will work with the local 4-H and FFA representatives to coordinate a bird-less poultry exhibit for the 2019 fair,” shared Justin Aquino, manager of the San Mateo County Fair.  “We will encourage students to participate in an educational display to educate fairgoers about the poultry industry.”


Poultry entries represented 241 of the 5,818 plus entries to the 2018 San Mateo County Fair.


“It is important that our fair guests understand that this is a temporary suspension and that it affects only the poultry exhibits,” shared Aquino.  “Our guests will still enjoy our Fair Farm with rabbits, beef, swine, sheep, and goats as well as a wonderful petting zoo in the 4-H Farmyard Experience exhibit,” Aquino said.


According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Virulent Newcastle disease is a highly contagious illness that is known to spread rapidly and is associated with high mortality rates in birds.  Movement of infected birds or contaminated materials can easily spread the disease.  The disease does not pose a serious risk to human health.  Poultry and egg products cooked properly are safe to consume.


The San Mateo County Fair is the Peninsula’s premier community event for family fun and entertainment. The San Mateo County Fair strives to provide a diverse experience through education, inspiration and entertainment. The annual fair represents a celebration of our community’s talent, interests, innovations and rich agricultural and artistic heritage. The 2019 Fair theme is “Celebrating the Best of the Bay.”


Visit for regular updates, contest entry, ticket giveaways and promotions. #SMCF2019



UPDATE from the County of San Mateo:

Highly Contagious Poultry Disease Confirmed in San Mateo County

Infected rooster from Alameda County does not pose threat to human health


Redwood City – A rooster brought into a veterinary clinic in Redwood City tested positive for Virulent Newcastle disease, the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Animal health Division confirmed Thursday, March 14, 2019.


Formerly known as exotic Newcastle disease, Virulent Newcastle disease does not pose a risk to human health.  It is, however, highly contagious and fatal disease for poultry, and is presently under eradication in Southern California after being found there last year.


After interviewing the owner, it was determined the bird was brought over from the East Bay, shifting the focus of the investigation to Alameda County.  Why the bird was brought to Redwood City is a matter of speculation, but local and state agriculture officials do not believe Virulent Newcastle disease is present in San Mateo County.


Though local poultry operations in San Mateo County are small and relatively isolated, the Redwood City incident is a reminder to its vulnerability.  Alerts have been sent to poultry and egg producers, but anyone with poultry — chickens, turkey’s, ducks, geese, etc. — should be observant regarding the health of their birds.  They should purchase birds only from legitimate and reputable hatcheries and breeding operations, implement quarantine protocols before introducing new birds into flocks, and employ biosecurity measures as Virulent Newcastle disease can be carried long distances by waterfowl and other susceptible birds.  Do not transport any poultry , unless you have confirmed it is not an area under quarantine.


For more information, contact San Mateo County Agricultural Commissioner Fred Crowder or refer to the Virulent Newcastle Disease FAQs (hyperlink above).  Those suspecting a flock may be affected, please call the Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-2473


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