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Ban lifted for taking poultry to live events

Ban lifted for taking poultry to live events

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Poultry owners can once again bring their birds to live events in Wisconsin.

The state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection lifted the ban Monday that barred moving poultry to live events. The ban, which was put in place in May, went into effect to prevent the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Lifting the prohibition does not mean that the state is out of the woods, however. The agency still recommends poultry owners to:

  • Clean and disinfect;
  • Restrict access by visitors and wild birds, and;
  • Wear separate shoes and clothes to wear around flocks

According to DATCP statistics, agency officials have counted 22 domestic flocks across 14 counties where HPAI has been found. The virus has led to the deaths of millions of birds across the state.

Poultry owners should still monitor their flocks and notify the agency about any illness or an increased number of deaths by calling 608-224-4872 during business hours or 800-943-0003 at other times. Additionally, they are required by state law to register their premises with DATCP, which helps officials track such disease outbreaks.

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B.C.’s live events industry optimistic capacity limit will be lifted Tuesday

B.C.'s live events industry optimistic capacity limit will be lifted Tuesday

Indoor seated venues have been allowed to remain open during the Omicron wave in British Columbia – but since Dec. 21, they’ve had to maintain a 50 per cent capacity limit, and that’s been devastating for their bottom line.

“For us, it limits the revenue we can produce and the number of tickets we can sell for certain movies, and it was particularly harmful over the Christmas period,” said Bill Walker, CEO of Landmark Cinemas.

The Arts Club Theatre has also taken a large financial hit.

“Our finances are based on the capacity to sell up to 100 per cent, so it is a real strain on us to have the reduction,” said associate artistic director Rachel Peake.

Some concerts and festivals that were scheduled for early in 2022 have been postponed because of the capacity restriction.

“The 50 per cent model does not work financially, and we have seen that. Everything that was in the books was cancelled and cancelled and cancelled. So certainly tomorrow we are really hoping we will get the full capacity for indoor seated venues back,” said Paul Runnals with Brand Live Management.

With other provinces now starting to lift capacity restrictions, the live event industry is optimistic provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will announce an end to the measure in B.C during a press conference Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

“It would be difficult to imagine how the province doesn’t, as every other province has done just that,“ said Walker. “There are different nuances around masking and vaccines, but overall, every other province is moving back to full capacity, and so we expect B.C. will do the same.”

If that happens, Runnals says live event planners in B.C. are prepared to hit the ground running.

“Many in our sector are poised and ready to go, we are just waiting to get that certainty. And that’s really what we are looking for tomorrow is clarification and a timeline, and then we can take that away and get cracking on things,” he said.

The industry is less concerned if mask mandate and vaccine passport restrictions remain in place.

“We don’t find it to be that difficult or detrimental for us to manage, we are all used to it,” said Walker. Runnals thinks it would be smart to keep those measures in place for awhile longer, while lifting the indoor capacity restriction.

“I think the public are looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and the confidence we will start seeing our major events coming back,” he said.

Peake agrees the demand is there, and is hopeful the Arts Club Theatre’s next stage show, “Kim’s Convenience,” will be allowed to offer all seats for sale.

“So that’s definitely the ideal scenario. That’s really what we are hoping for at this point,” she said.

The industry remains in the dark about what could be announced at Tuesday’s press conference.

“We have not heard any insights,” said Walker.” Every now and again we will get an advanced look at something; on this, we have no idea.”

With many live events — and livelihoods — now hanging in the balance, Runnals says everyone is anxiously awaiting word, adding: ”Lots of eyes are going to be watching that announcement tomorrow.”