Disease changes rules for hogs at fair

WINTERSVILLE – Officials with the Jefferson County Fair said that due to a viral disease spreading through the United States, rules have been adjusted regarding tag-ins for this year’s fair.

Jefferson County Fair board officials said they will not tag hogs on May 3. All other species coming to the 2014 fair will be required to tag as usual. Exhibitors are not to bring hogs to the tag-in.

Instead, each swine exhibitor will need to pick up tags at the Ohio State University Extension office and tag their own animal. Along with the tag, each packet will include identification forms to be completed and returned along with pictures and ear notch forms on each project.

The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the office, 587 Bantam Ridge Road, Suite C.

The completed packet must be turned in from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 3 at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds, and officials said there will be no exceptions.

Any unused tags must be returned or the exhibitor will not be registered.

The reason for the change is the porcine epidemic diarrhea, a viral disease working its way throughout the country. It does not affect people and there is no food safety concerns related to the disease, officials said. Research has identified transportation and points of swine concentration to be key sites of virus contamination and subsequent routes of exposure to swine, officials said. Therefore, the Jefferson County Fair board “felt it prudent to change how verification that members have their pigs by the May 3 possession deadline is done.”

Anyone with questions is asked to call the Extension office or Ray Hilderbrand at (740) 381-3862.