Livestock Event Animal Health Safety Guidelines
The animal health goal of the livestock shows is to heighten the awareness of event participants and spectators regarding the importance of preventing the introduction and spread of diseases such as foot and mouth disease (FMD). Since two farmers feed 100 people, it is essential the public understand their role in preventing the introduction of a foreign disease to North Carolina. The public's health is critical to the protection of our safe, wholesome and affordable food supply. We encourage event coordinators and participants to use these opportunities to discuss the situation with foreign animal diseases and demonstrate proper biosecurity measures. The following guidelines will be helpful in that prevention:
- Send all entrants a letter explaining the seriousness of the situation and asking if any family member or visitor to the farm has traveled internationally during the 14 days prior to animal check-in. If so, ask them to voluntarily withdraw their animals from the show and not attend. Provide a sign in sheet at the check-in area and ask exhibitors to sign and verify this information.
- At major spectator entrances post a statement about international travel restrictions. If they have traveled in the last 14 days, or had visitors from FMD countries, they should be respectfully asked to not attend the event.
- If there are animals at home or on the farm, change into clean clothes and shoes before visiting the fair or other events, and do not wear the same shoes and clothes worn to the event around the livestock at home.
- Do not touch the animals. It would be advisable for animals to be in surroundings that human hands cannot reach both for the safety of the animal and human.
- Cleanliness is of the utmost importance, so alleys and walkways should be kept clean of animal waste. Loading ramps and unloading areas should be cleaned and disinfected after each species arrives and departs. Also, require that all exhibitors bring animals to the fairgrounds in cleaned, disinfected vehicles and trailers.
- Only exhibitors and show personnel should be allowed inside the show ring. Animal traffic and spectator traffic should be as separate as possible.
- Exhibitors should isolate all show animals for 30 days prior to reintroduction to remaining animals on the farm.
- All animal health regulations of the NCDA&CS Veterinary Division will be strictly enforced.
- If an exhibitor observes any animals with suspicious clinical signs, they should contact their local veterinarian before bringing the animal to an event.