Biosecurity: Protecting Your Health and the Health of Your Animals

Animal exhibitors at fairs need to understand what measures prevent the spread of disease among animals and people.

Rosie Nold, Extension Youth Animal Science Specialist, and David R. Smith, Extension Dairy/Beef Veterinarian

What is the concern?

Because fairs and shows are such an enjoyable activity for many people, it is important to keep these events open and accessible to both exhibitors and the public. However, it is equally important that exhibitors understand what measures need to be taken to prevent the spread of disease, and how everyone plays an important role in preventing the spread of disease among animals and people.

In 2001, outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease in the United Kingdom (UK) and pseudorabies in Nebraska resulted in costly consequences for both economies and reminded us of the negative effect of some livestock diseases. Some diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and pseudorabies, cannot cause disease in humans. Even though these diseases do not present any direct risks to humans, human contact and attendance at fairs can spread these diseases to other livestock herds. Livestock disease outbreaks can be economically devastating to your family, your community and the state, which derives a large portion of its income from the livestock industry. In addition, there are a number of animal diseases such as soremouth, club lamb fungus, salmonellosis and E. coli O157:H7, which may make people sick. Some simple precautions to take before, during and after fairs are listed below.

For Preventing Spread of Diseases among Animals

For Preventing the Spread of Diseases to People

Visit the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension Publications Web site for more publications.
Index: Animal Diseases
General Livestock
Issued January 2007

Extension is a Division of the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln cooperating with the Counties and the United States Department of Agriculture.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension educational programs abide with the nondiscrimination policies of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the United States Department of Agriculture.

© 2007, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.