2016 Madison County Fair Participants and Interested Parties:
Animal care and well-being is top priority for all those involved in livestock production, including junior fair projects. Unfortunately, as you may be aware, a 4‐H market hog died at about 2 a.m., Saturday, July 16. The family of the affected 4-H exhibitor, at around 2:30 a.m., notified the fair board of the situation. The president of the sale committee, president of the fair board, fair veterinarian, swine key leader, and two additional fair board members were immediately notified.
Upon examination of the situation, the fair veterinarian contacted the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the State Veterinarian. The ODA immediately took authoritative control over the Madison County Swine barn and, at about 3:30 a.m., directed the fair board to quarantine the barn and transport the deceased animal to the ODA facility in Reynoldsburg for a necropsy. Fair board members present evacuated the swine barn and asked the Madison County Sheriff to deny entry until further notification from the ODA.
Upon completion of the necropsy, the fair veterinarian and State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey returned to the Madison County Fairgrounds to explain the findings and examine the single animal that was symptomatic at that time. The ODA’s presumptive diagnosis is that the deceased swine had succumbed to streptococcus suis (strep suis), a bacterium living in the tonsils of most pigs and capable of causing disease in the brain (meningitis) and other organs (septicemia). It was stated that the swine likely had its immune system comprised by heat and stress, making the animal more vulnerable. Testing is currently underway to determine the exact causative agent. The ODA released the Madison County swine barn from quarantine at about 6 a.m. Two swine that appeared symptomatic were removed from the barn immediately.
All remaining animals in the barn were approved to participate in the junior fair sale on Saturday, July 16. Junior fair exhibitors with swine breeding projects were contacted via email, through the county’s 4-H Extension office and notified of the issue. Any exhibitors who took swine projects back to their home farms and believe their swine to be symptomatic should contact their veterinarian. This issue was not deemed to be a concern of human health and does not impact food safety. The Madison County Fair Board and Sales Committee followed proper protocol and will continue to monitor this situation and communicate any necessary information to those potentially affected.
For more information, please contact the Madison County Ag Society at 740‐852-1654.