Livestock & Poultry in Public Settings

Animals at Fairs, Exhibitions and in Agritourism

Agricultural fairs and exhibitions take place across the United States each year, and are a way for people to show, sell and interact with livestock and poultry. These show events, along with the growing, on-farm business of agritourism, are also opportunities for animals and people to share and spread diseases, particularly zoonotic diseases (spread between animals and humans) such as salmonella, rabies, influenza and brucellosis.

Whenever possible:

  1. Facilities managers should minimize human-animal contact.
  2. Visitors need information about disease risks and how to protect themselves from getting ill.

The resources listed on this page offer guidance and recommendations for both exhibitors and visitors.

Children visiting a farm goat.

For Facilities Managers and Exhibitors

Fairs and Exhibitions
  • A Guide to Successful Agritourism Enterprises - from the University of Vermont Cooperative Extension. A guide for planning and assessing everything that goes into running an agritourism operation, including safety and risk management.
  • Integrating Safety into Agritourism - from the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety. A website with tools and resources that help farm owners keep visitors safe.

Visit the Animal Contact Compendium hosted by The National Association of State and Public Health Veterinarians for more resources on preventing disease associated with animals in public settings.

For Visitors

Zoonotic Diseases - a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page for farm visitors about zoonotic diseases, how germs spread and how to protect yourself from them.

Tips for Staying Healthy at Petting Zoos and Farms - Seattle & King County Public Health. Good tips for the spread of diseases at farms and petting zoos.

Healthy People, Healthy Pets - a CDC website with recommendations for avoiding illnesses from pets.

Stay Healthy Around Animals


October 8, 2020 Biosecurity Community Conversation

This video features Roy Lee Lindsey, MS, executive director, Oklahoma Pork Council and Lisa Becton, DVM, MS, director, Swine Health, National Pork Board. The speakers discussed experiences with farm animal biosecurity and livestock exhibitions.

October 15, 2020 Biosecurity Community Conversation

Biosecurity concerns when youth take livestock to shows and exhibitions with Assistant State Veterinarian Amber Itle, DVM, Washington State Department of Agriculture and Extension Animal Sciences Regional Specialist Sarah Smith, Washington State University.