Animal Health Rules for Fairs, Shows, and Other Special Events


How to Use this Information​

This is a summary of animal health requirements for fairs, shows and exhibitions only. They are not necessarily the same as requirements for importing animals into Wisconsin or moving them within the state for other purposes. Rules may change if animal diseases occur in Wisconsin or elsewhere, so you should always check here or contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for current information. 

General Requirements for Show Organizers

Fairs or exhibitions lasting more than 24 hours must appoint a licensed veterinarian to inspect all livestock daily and review the below records.

Fairs or exhibitions of any length must obtain, review and keep for five years all required records and test results including: 

  • Exhibitor’s name and address
  • Animal identification (number, type, description)
  • Documents showing compliance with disease testing and other health requirements
  • Livestock premises number, if any, where animals originated
  • If requested by the fair or show organizer, documentation showing legal importation (if applicable) and movement to the event


Animals infected with or exposed to contagious or infectious diseases may not be commingled (or housed/kept) with other animals at a fair, show, or other exhibition in such a way as to allow disease to spread.  Such animals should not attend the fair, show, or exhibition.  Animals may be denied entry if they arrive at these events with contagious or infectious diseases, isolated and/or removed if they develop disease after arriving, or be subject to other action as would be necessary to control disease.

Bovine animals with ringworm, mange, warts or scab will be removed from the fair or exhibition premises, unless the veterinarian in charge determines warts or ringworm lesions are incapable of transmitting disease.

Guidelines for Housing and Managing Animals

The state veterinarian recommends that show organizers do the following:

  • House cattle separately from llamas, vicuñas, alpacas, guanacos, and other exotic ruminants
  • House cattle separately from small ruminants, especially sheep
  • House ostriches, emus, rheas and cassowaries separately from domestic poultry
  • House swine separately from any other mammals
  • Include a space for the premises registration code on livestock entry forms
  • Provide hand-washing stations near all livestock facilities
  • Provide individual watering and feeding troughs rather than common ones 

The state veterinarian recommends that exhibitors do the following:

  • Vaccinate breeding cattle against bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) at least 30 days before the event
  • Test cattle for BVD-PI by immunoperoxidase test, and bring them to shows only if they test negative
  • Test cattle for Johne’s disease test results by ELISA test, and bring them to shows only if they test negative
  • Clean and disinfect vehicles used to transport animals to and from the show, and vehicles used at the show, before and after the show
  • Isolate exhibited animals returning to their farms or animals purchased at the show for 21 days before mingling them with other stock