Enhancing Biosecurity at Fairs and Shows

Photograph is copyright Luc Asbury and is used under Creative Commons licensing.


This webinar was presented by Scott Cotton, University of Wyoming Area Educator and EDEN Chair-elect, and Curt Emanuel, Purdue Extension Educator and Boone County Extension Director. Cotton has been with Extension since 1993 and involved in disasters since 1972. His emergency/disaster roles have ranged from medical technician and firefighter to ICS/NIMS instructor and disaster exercise facilitator.  Emanuel is a former professional horse trainer. Since joining Purdue Extension in 1990, he has been involved in emergency and disaster planning at the local and state levels.

“Biosecurity at fairs and shows really begins well before the events. Animals should be vaccinated and receive health checks on a regular schedule. Their owners should be aware of disease risks and know how to care for the animals if they become ill or injured,”  says Cotton. “Fairs are very public events and generate a good bit of interaction between people and animals. It is vital to their good health that biosecurity measures are practiced before, during and after these events.”

Emanuel notes that the potential for spreading disease at fairs and shows depends on those practices. “Exposing healthy animals and people to sick animals can lead to a disaster far wider than the local event. All animals should be identified and their owners should present documentation of the animals’ health checks when they arrive for inspection prior to the event. There should be an established protocol for the inspections as well as a procedure for housing and handling the animals during the event. In addition, there should be an animal biosecurity team on hand to take action if there are causes for concern.”

Susan Kerr is a Washington State University Extension Livestock and Dairy Specialist. She moderated the session. “Many types of disease issues can arise at fairs and shows. Many of these problems can be prevented if proper biosecurity measures are established and enforced. Scott Cotton and Curt Emanuel will help us be more aware of the risks associated with animal diseases in public venues and show us how we can help reduce those risks.”

This recording is available and is brought to you by the Extension Disaster Education Network, an eXtension Community of Practice