Biosecurity involves taking steps to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious disease. This is a responsibility for every exhibitor at shows.

This ensures that the exhibitors neither bring disease on to the premises or bring disease back to their farm.

The following advice from Animal Health and Welfare Northern Ireland (AHWNI) BVD Eradication Programme for herd owners is aimed at minimising the risk of spread of disease.

Biosecurity guidance

Before the show:

Herd owners are urged not to move cattle if there are any BVD Positive, inconclusive, DAMPI (status given to the dam of BVD positive calf) or OFFPI (status given to the calf when the dam tests positive).

AHWNI also suggested not to go to any agriculture shows if there have been any BVD positive animals present three weeks prior to the show.

Exhibitors of in-calf cattle should assess the risks of disease before deciding to present them for showing.

If an animal is between 30-120 days in calf, it is at greater risk of becoming BVD positive, which may lead to the creation of a persistently infected calf.

Vehicles used to transport any animals to a show should be cleaned and disinfected, the same goes for any equipment brought to the show.

dairy beef calves on a bed of straw
Calves on a bed of straw

At the show:

Clean, protective clothing and footwear should be worn when handling animals. Sharing of equipment should be avoided, especially feed and water containers.

Animal handlers should clean up manure and place it in designated areas. They should also make event organisers aware of sick animals immediately.

If bedding is to be used at the show, it should be clean and contact between animals while at the show should be reduced to a minimum.

After the show:

Protective clothing and footwear should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before working with stock back at home.

Vehicles used to transport animals should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the end of the show immediately after return of livestock to the farm.

Any clinical signs of disease occurring during the following four weeks in animals that have been at the show, should be reported to the show operators.