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New rules for swine exhibitors

By Staff | Aug 6, 2019

Erin Schmidt of Watkins shows off her purple award winning hog at the 2018 Iowa State Fair. Exhibitors at this year’s fair will face a new set of rules before they are allowed to show their animals.



DES MOINES – Because of the prevalence of African Swine Fever in Asia and Europe, Iowa State Fair swine exhibitors must abide by a new set of rules in order to show their pigs at the 2019 fair.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, State Veterinarian Dr. Jeff Kaisand and Iowa State Fair officials recently announced the new animal health inspection requirements including an inspection of all swine entries by a veterinarian from Iowa State University or the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship as soon as the livestock arrive at the fairgrounds, even before they are ever unloaded from a trailer and mixed with other livestock.

All swine also must be individually inspected and identified on a certificate of veterinary inspection to be completed within seven days of the start of the Iowa State Fair. These two additional requirements are on top of the fair’s existing protocol and were developed with input provided by veterinarians and other experts in the hopes of keeping swine safe at the fair.

Mindy Williamson, marketing director for the Iowa State Fair, said that everyone who exhibits livestock, particularly swine this year, “understands the importance of the swine industry in Iowa” and why these protocols are necessary.

Every year, approximately 1,500 swine exhibitors descend upon the Iowa State Fair. Williamson said that open class numbers are down slightly for the 2019 fair, but 4-H and FFA numbers were both up for 2019.

“We are working with other state and federal agencies and industry partners to monitor the ASF situation and educate producers about biosecurity,” said Naig. “While the disease does not pose a human health or food safety threat, it would be detrimental to Iowa’s pork industry and the state’s economy. That’s why we’re implementing additional biosecurity measures for all swine exhibitors at this year’s fair.”

Kaisland explained that any time animals are in close proximity, such as at the Iowa State Fair, there exists the potential for diseases to spread.

“The Iowa Department of Agriculture is working with the USDA and pork producers to monitor the ASF outbreak in Asia and parts of Europe. We continue to stress the importance of following proper biosecurity protocols on the farm every day to prevent the spread of diseases and protect our herds,” Kaisland said.

General state fair exhibition rules request all animals, poultry and birds intended for exhibition within the state are ineligible for showing until a certificate of veterinary inspection stating that the animals, poultry or birds are free from symptoms of infectious or communicable diseases as determined by an accredited veterinarians within 30 days (14 days for sheep) before entering the fair.

State fair exhibition rules pertaining specifically to swine dictate that swine must not originate from herds or areas not under quarantine. All swine must have official individual identification. Swine exhibition reports are required and all breeding swine six months of age or older must either originate from a brucellosis class “free” state.

Any signs of warts, ringworm, foot rot, pink eye, draining abscesses or any other contagious disease will eliminate an animal from the show.

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