A RANGE of major poultry events and conferences are being cancelled, taken online or postponed over coronavirus fears.

But organisers of the UK’s largest event for the sector, the Pig & Poultry Fair, said it would go ahead as scheduled on 12 and 13 May unless official advice from the government changed.

“The current spread of COVID-19, coronavirus disease 2019 has led us as exhibition organisers to focus on doing all we can to ensure the events go ahead safely and deliver their full value to visitors and exhibitors alike,” RASE chief executive Andrew Lazenby said.

Global events

Alltech’s ONE event, usually held in Lexington, Kentucky, will take place as an online “virtual experience” this year. Delegates will be able to view both live footage from the event and recorded content at a later date.

The International Egg Commission has decided to postpone its spring conference this year because of the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19, also known as coronavirus.

It was scheduled to take place between 5-7 April this year in the Hague, Netherlands, but will now move to 11-13 April 2021.

‘Difficult decision’

A statement from the IEC said that its executive board had made the “difficult decision” to postpone the event as the global crisis escalated.

It is not the only agricultural event postponed because of coronavirus.

VICTAM and Animal Health and Nutrition Asia 2020, due to take place in Bangkok in late March, was recently pushed back to July 9-11.

The World Health Organization has raised the global risk status to “very high” after it recorded more than 100,000 cases worldwide. There are few regions now not affected by the virus, which can cause a range of respiratory symptoms, fever, coughs, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

‘Postponement only option’

A short statement released by the IEC said: “The IEC conferences are designed to bring people together from around the world to share information and develop relationships for the benefit of the global egg industry.

“The health and welfare of IEC delegates during these events has always been the IEC’s top priority, and with the rapidly evolving global situation, along with the WHO’s decision to upgrade the global risk status to ‘very high’, it is with regret that the IEC has deemed postponement to be the only option at this stage in the planning process.

“All delegates that have secured a conference place have been contacted by the IEC office with their reimbursement options,” it added.

The IEC said that its Global Leadership conference would be taking place as planned in Cartagena on 6—10 September 2020.