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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Weeman

Get Ready for the show!

Fair/Exhibition Inspection Information

When you would like to exhibit animals at the local county fairs within Maryland, a health certificate is required. By following the steps below, you can ensure that your animal will be ready to be examined by your veterinarian quickly and cheaply. This should be the easiest and least expensive part of the entire show season!

Animals based in Delaware do not require health certificates or inspections. Showing sick livestock puts all of the exhibitors and animals at risk.

Delaware livestock entering Maryland require inspection and certificates. 4H animals located in Delaware may be eligible for inspection by the Delaware Department of Agriculture (free of charge). Contact the Delaware Department of Ag Poultry and Animal Health Department for more information: (302) 698-4561

When an appointment has been scheduled with us for inspection, we will keep you apprised of our arrival time and appreciate very much if animals are restrained for inspection prior to our arrival. This helps us keep the cost of the service to a minimum and prevent stress on you, your animals and our veterinarian.

All animals must have an official Identification in their ear before a health certificate for the animal will be issued. Official forms of identification may include a metal ear tag or an 840 ID tag. For shows in Maryland, all pigs and cattle MUST have an 840 ID to be exhibited at your local fair. For almost all export purposes of cattle or pigs, the only acceptable ID form is an 840 tag. If you are using breed registry tags, please call your local breed association to have them transition you to the 840 system (used locally and for interstate).

If you do not have an official tag, your veterinarian will place a metal tag for a small fee.

Animals should NOT have more than one official ID placed (eg a metal tag and 840 tag or two metal or two 840 tags).

Removing official ID tags is illegal.

There's really no reason to use any other identification tag for cattle aside from an 840 tag, for more information please talk with us!

To obtain your own 840 tags you must register for a premise ID through the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service

Once you have a premise ID tag, you will be able to order and place your own 840 tags in your animal's ears after purchasing the tags through an authorized supplier. Follow the link below for one option.

Sheep and goats should be identified primarily through the scrapie identification tag program for more information follow the link below

We are NOT able to provide scrapie tags for your sheep or goat.

Now that your animal is identified:

Please record the registration number for your animal on a sheet of paper and present it to the examining veterinarian who will confirm the number, when it is already written down this saves time and time is money. It also prevents transcribing errors. Feel free to call our office and fill out the examination paper ahead of time!

Please write down the birthday (--/--/----) for each animal along with their official identification number.

Please have ready the date of the first show to go on the show form, upon inspection your show exam certificate for the state of Maryland is valid for a 90 day period.

Your animal must be vaccinated with a killed or modified live 10 way vaccine. A booster is required 3 weeks later when using the killed product to ensure adequate protection. Vaccination a minimum of 3 weeks prior to the show is highly recommended (this means if using a killed vaccine, the animal should receive their first dose 6 weeks before the show).

Your veterinarian will provide vaccine if you do not have any available, however, the smallest dose bottles of modified live vaccine include enough for 5 animals. It is highly recommended to plan ahead! We can dispense single doses of killed vaccine, but giving 1 dose at inspection just before show offers very little protection to your animal.

Example#1: You are showing a red and white march calf at the fair in August. The following information should be ready for the veterinarian when s/he arrives. Name: Highfive Gonna Win Lucy, Female, Red and White, Reg# USA123456789, Official ID: 8401234567891011 Breed: Holstein (R&W) Birthday: 03/01/1234 first show is on 01/01/1234

Example#2: You are showing a crossbred barrow at the fair in August. The following information should be ready for the veterinarian when s/he arrives. Name: ShowStopper MakeaBuck, barrow, white/black, Official ID 8401234567891011 Breed: crossbred Birthday 04/01/1234 first show is on 01/01/1234

Final notes: We are passionate about supporting 4H and FFA exhibitors, and few things will bother us more than preventing a project from getting to a show. HOWEVER, animals that are sick, or have unhealed ringworm will not be granted a health certificate, we are happy to help you clear up warts, ringworm and disease ahead of time to make your show season a success! We will attempt to shift schedules to accommodate last minute health paper requests because, here again, getting a kid to a show is something we care deeply about-that said, failure to plan resulting in "emergency health papers" will probably result in the process becoming far more expensive with the application of emergency fees being added for their completion.

We hope this information helps everyone to have a safe and fun show season. All of us at Bayside Bovine Veterinary Services look forward to supporting your projects.

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