Booklet promotes health in fair animals statewide
New for county fair season in 2010 is a booklet compiled by the Wyoming Livestock Board, the Wyoming Association of Fairs and the Wyoming State Fair.
Titled “Healthy Exhibition Animals: What to Watch For,” the document covers biosecurity, vet requirements, Certificates of Veterinary Inspection, conditions unacceptable for showing and basic body condition scoring.
“Over the last few years there have been some contentious events within Wyoming at the county fairs, where perhaps in some cases one vet had written a health certificate and sent animals to the fair, while another vet at the fairgrounds would not allow the animals in without another examination and clearance,” says Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan of the incentive behind the document. “There were several counties with problems with animals getting in, and some animals got in that shouldn’t have.”
Not all counties require an animal health check-in, but Logan says his hope is that with the compiled information, produced by the WLSB with contributions from veterinarians and Extension agents throughout the state, more counties will adopt a check-in process for livestock. There is no WLSB requirement that says county fairs must have a health check-in, or even that they require health certificate, though the Wyoming State Fair and several counties have required them for a number of years.
“We tried to focus on illustrating conditions instead of specific diseases,” says Logan of the information, which is subtitled “An Aid for Fair Boards, Extension Agents, Veterinarians and Exhibitors to Determine the Health Qualifications of Exhibit Animals.”
“The purpose of this booklet is to describe, both in text and pictures, conditions that many farm and pet animals may harbor, which cause them to not be allowed entrance into county or state fairs or other exhibitions to prevent spreading the condition to other show animals,” says the introduction.
“The goal with this is to prevent a disease from getting into a fairgrounds where numerous animals would be exposed and might require a quarantine, which would make a mess at a county fair,” notes Logan. “It’s up to the county, but if they choose to do it there is a model health certificate in the booklet.”
Logan emphasizes the booklet is for exhibitors, fair management, extension people and veterinarians and it can be found on county Extension websites, the Wyoming State Fair website and the WLSB website. “It’s there to be available to everybody, and its purpose is that exhibitors or the people doing the check-in know what to look for, and will hopefully get veterinary assistance and get anything they may find cleared up.”
Logan says the guidelines are a work in progress. “If veterinarians or producers see other conditions, or think of others that should be added and can send us photographs we can modify it for future years to include other things,” he notes, describing it as a living document. “That’s part of the reason we didn’t go to press with it and made it available electronically, so that it can be easily modified.”
Find the booklet online at wlsb.state.wy.us/animalhealth.htm. Christy Hemken is managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.