KSU Livestock Specialist Urges Biosecurity Measures for Animal Safety at Fairs and During Transport

By Trish Svoboda

A Kansas State University livestock specialist is advising youth and others showing animals at local fairs to ensure the safety of their animals both at the fair and during transportation.

Joel DeRouchey emphasizes the importance of basic biosecurity practices to prevent and contain the spread of diseases among animals. He highlights that swine, in particular, can quickly transmit diseases among themselves. DeRouchey urges those showing swine to monitor for symptoms before, during, and after the fair season.

DeRouchey acknowledged that maintaining biosecurity at fairs can be challenging with multiple showmen bringing hogs together. He recommended using solid barriers, such as wood or plastic boards, inside the pens to prevent nose-to-nose contact, a common way diseases spread.

Other than isolation, another way to prevent spreading sickness includes cleaning and disinfecting equipment that was taken to the fair, or used frequently at the farm. DeRouchey said sickness can also be carried on clothes and shoes, so making sure to thoroughly clean and change clothing can prevent sickness.

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