State Veterinarian Issues Guidance for Dairy Cattle Exhibitions, Ag Events


Broomfield, Colo. — The Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office has issued new guidance to minimize influenza transmission at dairy cattle livestock exhibitions.

Colorado is following the guidance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage livestock owners and event organizers to increase biosecurity measures and actively monitor animals for signs of illness. Colorado had its first confirmed positive detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in dairy cattle on April 25. Since then, nine other facilities have been placed under quarantine.

“Fairs and exhibitions provide a learning opportunity and a chance to showcase the hard work it takes to raise animals. Unfortunately, they also provide an opportunity for illness to spread among animals from multiple herds,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin. “Livestock owners and event organizers should take precautions to minimize the potential spread of avian influenza, including enhancing their biosecurity practices, testing lactating dairy cattle prior to the event, monitoring animals for clinical signs of illness, and isolating cattle that return home from an exhibition.”

Biosecurity refers to everything people do to keep diseases away from animals, property, and people. Biosecurity is a team effort: everyone involved in caring for the animals must commit to preventing disease.

While the decision to postpone or cancel dairy cattle shows, sales, or events is up to the event organizers, except in the event of quarantine, health order, or movement restrictions, the State Veterinarian’s Office is recommending the following best practices for livestock events:

Prior to Event

Both livestock owners and event organizers should practice enhanced biosecurity and monitor cattle for clinical signs. Within 7 days prior to movement to the show/event, livestock owners should work with their veterinarian to test lactating dairy cattle for Influenza A. Testing guidance can be found at

During the Event

Event organizers and livestock owners should have biosecurity measures in place to limit potential transmission of the virus between cattle during the event. In addition to following best biosecurity practices, owners and organizers should monitor lactating dairy cattle for clinical signs of HPAI; if cattle become ill, the case must be reported to the event veterinarian and the affected animal(s) should be isolated.

Post Event

Livestock owners should isolate cattle for 30 days when returning home and continue to monitor for clinical signs.

Additional resources for owners and event organizers:


Other HPAI Precautions

Lactating Dairy Cattle Emergency Rule

On April 30, CDA adopted an Emergency Rule to require mandatory testing of lactating dairy cattle moving interstate to implement the requirements in USDA’s Federal Order on pre-movement testing.

The Emergency Rule requires any lactating dairy cattle to receive a negative test for HPAI (also referred to as Influenza A virus in cattle) at an approved National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) laboratory. Samples must be collected by an accredited veterinarian, licensed veterinarian, or sample collector approved by the State Veterinarian no more than seven days prior to interstate movement and the negative results must be recorded on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI).

Lactating dairy cattle showing clinical signs consistent with HPAI or those from herds that test positive for HPAI in the prior 30 days are ineligible for interstate movement. After the 30-day period, animals must be tested again prior to any movement. Dairy cattle moving directly to slaughter do not need a pre-movement test but must have a CVI approved by animal health officials in the sending and receiving state.

Poultry Events

In 2022, the State Veterinarian issued guidance HPAI Guidance for Poultry Shows, Swaps, and Commingling Events. Poultry shows or events should continue using this document as guidance. Poultry show organizers and bird owners should continue to implement strict biosecurity measures, which may include:

  • Testing birds for HPAI prior to event entry
  • Requiring a health certificate within 72 hours of entry to the event
  • Veterinary examination of all incoming poultry
  • On-site biosecurity measures to limit the spread of disease

All poultry entering Colorado from out-of-state must meet the poultry import requirements, including a certificate of veterinary inspection and verification that the poultry have not originated from an HPAI control area.

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