During Fair Season, Animal Health is Imperative Locally and GloballyWed, 22 Sep 2021 15:47:26 CDT
People aren’t the only ones who go to the fair - so do farm animals. Keeping everyone safe and healthy is what Dr. Gary Stone, animal inspector at the Oklahoma State Fair, does well. He talked with KC Sheperd, associate farm director for Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, about what it takes to ensure every animal at the fair is healthy.
“First of all, we are looking at the health certificate and the official I.D.,” Stone said.
Having those two documents ensures exhibitors get to bring their animals onto fairgrounds, meaning they are healthy and traceable, Stone said.
“We need to make sure that we have some means of capturing where animals are and where animals will go,” Stone said.
Ideally, Stone said each animal has an individual, official I.D. Mistakes do happen and unfortunately, the process is not always seamless. When the problems with paperwork occur, Stone said it is simply a lack of understanding and with education, can quickly be resolved.
“Education is key here,” Stone said. “First and foremost, we need to educate our producers, educate our veterinarians and (then) all of us work together.”
As with many aspects of life, practice makes perfect, and Stone says the same goes for practicing traceability in our food chain. Stone says when it comes to disease outbreaks, it is a matter of when - not if.
“We are going to need to be able to get our arms around that (outbreak) very rapidly,” Stone said. “The speed of our response will directly affect the confidence that our trading partners have with us.”
Did you know showing an animal at your local fair could be such a diplomatic activity?!
Hit the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from KC Sheperd and Dr. Stone as they discuss animal health on a local and global scale.
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