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Indiana Board of Animal Health relaxes fair rules
Indiana Correspondent

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Years of effort by Indiana livestock producers in eradicating animal diseases has resulted in relaxation of exhibition rules by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH).

Beginning with the 2007 show season, 4-Hers and other livestock exhibitors will no longer be required to show a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) at Indiana shows under state law. Board members left intact the 30-day CVI requirement for out-of-state animals exhibiting in Indiana. Bovine and swine brucellosis were last seen in Indiana in the 1980s, and the state was declared free of pseudorabies in 2004.

“This change is really about recognizing the diligence of Hoosier producers and veterinarians, who have worked for decades to make this state free of many animal diseases, including pseudorabies, tuberculosis and brucellosis,” Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh said. “We saw this as an opportunity to recognize those efforts and reward our industries with fewer requirements when they participate in exhibition events.”

However, local competition organizers, including some county fairs, may set their own standards. The rule includes a provision to allow event organizers to customize requirements to meet their needs, and some counties may continue the CVI requirement for certain species.

Exhibitors should always verify what is required for a show before arriving at the event. “Exhibition operators can always add more requirements,” said Denise Derrer, BOAH public information director. “A lot of horse show organizers require certain tests before an event.”

Marsh said the relaxation of the rule does not mean the BOAH is placing less emphasis on the importance of animal health. CVIs provide an opportunity for animals to be examined by a veterinarian and open communication lines between the exhibitor and veterinarian.

“But producers need to remember that a CVI loses its value over time, especially for animals that travel from place to place,” Marsh said. “We need owners to assess the general health of each of their animals before every show, not just rely on a piece of paper as a clean bill of health when it was written by a veterinarian one, two or even three months ago.”

The BOAH is launching Know Before You Show, an educational campaign for livestock exhibitors designed to raise awareness about prevention and detection of common diseases that threaten the health of sheep, goats, cattle and hogs. Materials, including printable fact sheets, are available at

BOAH staff will also be at trade shows and other events to raise awareness and discuss issues with producers.

This farm news was published in the Dec. 6, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.