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COVID-19 and CAHNRS  We at CAHNRS are striving to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Learn more at wsu.edu/covid-19

Information for Fair/Exhibitions offering guidance for the 2020 Fair/Exhibition Season

  1. County Weigh-Ins
    1. WSU Extension recommends that all who are affiliated with Youth livestock shows, exhibitions and/or sale committees that offer livestock weigh-ins at the start of the project to postpone or cancel these activities effective immediately. This is a recommendation that is a result of Washington’s “Stay Home and Stay Healthy” order and reducing the effect of people-to-people interaction.
      1. These events have resulted with large gatherings.
      2. Possibility of animal-to-animal disease transmission is always of concern at these events, particularly with swine.
      3. Certified scales used for pre-weighs typically are either on site at fairgrounds and livestock markets/sale yards and under the current recommendations from CDC are most likely closed. Many livestock markets/sale yards that remain open have made alternative modifications for producers in dropping off livestock with no interaction of workers with producers.
      4. Forgoing at fair contests and competitions that evaluate “rate of gain” for 2020 maybe a necessary evil as we navigate the existing ban.
      5. Weigh-in’s can occur after gathering bans have been lifted. When this occurs data can be recorded and rate-of-gain can be assessed for a shorter duration if this is still desired. Comparison of the current years data with pervious years, as a result of duration differences is not recommended.
  2. Fair animal tags
    1. Many fairs and exhibitions, tag animals during the weigh-in for ownership purposes, animal management (for recording) and animal health (scrapie, bangs, etc.,).
      1. If counties, fairs, and exhibitions need to get tags to exhibitors, they should do so with minimal to no human-to-human interaction.
      2. Have exhibitors communicate how many tags are needed for their families and what species they will be used for.
      3. Tags can either be sent via mail to the exhibitors or have someone package these tags for distribution site pick up. Identify packets and leave at an unmanned distribution area. Communicate with families where the tags are located and please utilize a staggered schedule for pickup (Ie: Last name – A-F at 10 a.m., G-P at 11 a.m. and so on).
        1. In either case COVID-19 has been reported to last on plastic surfaces for up to 72 hours and cardboard surfaces for 24 hours.
        2. Wear gloves when packing and distributing and suggest that families or those that transport back to families tagging animals they should wash hands thoroughly after any contact with tags and packing materials.
    2. An alternative to tagging is to have exhibitors send in photograph of animals and identification of animal:
      1. Take a snapshot of a front view and side view of the animal
      2. As well as a clear view of the form of identification the animal has in its ear. Note the number on the identification should be clearly visible.
      3. This can be sent and filed electronically and can be used at the scale to verify ownership and animal identification for each animal identified.
      4. Clear guidelines must be put in writing if it is determined that the color pattern and or Identification do not match.
      5. A hair sample can also be sent in for identification. When the animal arrives at the fair and is in question the sample can be sent in for confirmation.
    3. Photos, tagging, hair samples, or any combination will reduce the concern for animals being purchased after the ownership date. If there is a question then having two points of reference to evaluate give you more ground to stand on if action needs to be taken.
  3. Fairs/Exhibition/Sale Committee Auctions
    1. If a fair is cancelled and youth face significant loss it is unfortunate, however here are things that might mitigate that loss:
      1. Premium sales or top off bids: In an online environment. The youth would not give up on possession and ownership of the animal but would received money to make up a loss from the fair sale. When the people-to-people and social distance ban is lifted, then arrange for a buy day when the livestock buyer, who normally works with the sale committee or fair to set the floor price for all animals, comes to purchase animals direct from the youth and sale, payment and possession transfer will occur at one time.
      2. Other fund raising opportunities to provide support for the youth on top of the floor price that they will receive can be established locally. Again much like the premium auction establishing a buy day with the livestock buyer will be necessary or work with a local market to sell animals on the commercial market.
      3. Online Auctions: In meeting the CDC guidelines as well as the Packers and Stockers purchase, payment and possession at time of sale rule we recommend that online auctions in the traditional sense, NOT be implemented. During an auction there is transfer of ownership and market animals are sold on a weight basis across a certified scale.
        1. The risk is as follows:
          1. In order to meet the immediate transfer of ownership and possession, as inferred from packers and stockers administration,
            1. Livestock/food animals would have to be weighed on a certified scale prior to auction so that you have an accurate weight within a reasonable amount of time and this would result in people-to-people interaction.
            2. As a result to CDC guidelines People-to-people interaction should be minimized.
            3. If the time to transfer possession is delayed because of CDC’s recommendations, who is responsible for the animal? The seller who maintains possession until transfer or the owner who does not have possession within a reasonable time after purchase?
            4. Although the thought is to reduce financial risk for the youth it may create other risks for families, youth and buyers.
  4. YQCA (Youth for the Quality Care of Animals)
    1. YQCA instructor led meetings (ILT) are postponed until the ban on large gatherings and the social distancing is lifted. Youth can still register and certify through the Web-based training at https://YQCA.org .