Animals are always a big draw at fairs, both for sale, show, and petting – and so their health and safety is a big concern.
Animals are checked for a variety of diseases and conditions, including ringworm, contagious warts, respiratory disease and general illnesses. Dr. John Been, the Sauk County Fair’s head veterinarian, said with all the variety and number of animals, it’s important to make sure all are healthy from the start and stay that way.
Some diseases can be spread through the air, or though nose contact or passage of fluids, so Been said it is helpful the fair has enough facilities to avoid overcrowding of animals.
Last year’s swine erysipelas detection and subsequent mass quarantine was an example of fair organizers being safe instead of sorry, said Been.
Been and his staff will also be on the lookout for other diseases that can be passed to humans, though, including salmonella and cryptosporidium. “We watch for these especially because they can cause intestinal problems in humans,” Been said.