General Requirements

Persons who wish to operate or conduct a public exhibition of livestock must obtain a permit prior to the start of the exhibition.

All animals must be examined by the official veterinarian on the day they are admitted to the exhibition and at least once daily during the exhibition. All out-of-state animals must meet Minnesota importation requirements. No animal may enter or be at a public exhibition that is showing clinical signs of any infectious, contagious or communicable disease, including ringworm and warts.

Always check with exhibition management for additional requirements.

For Minnesota State Fair exhibition requirements, call 651-288-4417 or visit www.mnstatefair.org.

For 4-H exhibition requirements, visit the county fair website.

Responsibilities of Official Veterinarian

An official veterinarian must be present at each public exhibition of livestock for which a permit is required. The official veterinarian of an exhibition shall:

  • Approve the cleaning and disinfection of the exhibition prior to the exhibition and during the exhibition if livestock are released and new livestock are brought to the exhibition premises.
  • Inspect all livestock on the day admitted to the exhibition.
  • Refuse admission of livestock showing signs of any infectious, contagious, or communicable disease, or of livestock not meeting the exhibition entrance requirements.
  • Maintain ear tagging records to include: the characters on or contained within the ear tag; characters on or contained within other official ear tags on the animal; species, sex, age, and type of animal; date of application; and name of address of the premises where the animal was identified.
  • Inspect all livestock at least once daily during the exhibition.
  • Order the immediate removal to the quarantine facility or removal from the exhibition premises of any livestock with clinical signs of infectious, contagious, or communicable disease.
  • Conduct any necessary tests.
  • Submit to the Board a list of any animals that were quarantined or removed from the exhibition because of infectious, contagious, or communicable disease.

Responsibilities of Exhibition Management

  • Retain the services of an official veterinarian.
  • Comply with all orders of the Board or the official veterinarian.
  • Clean and disinfect all building and exhibit areas for the use of livestock prior to the opening date of the exhibition and during the exhibition if livestock are released and new livestock are brought to the exhibition premises.
  • Maintain the livestock and exhibition areas in a sanitary condition.
  • Ensure that any livestock showing symptoms of infectious, contagious, or communicable disease are removed from the premises or quarantined in a separate facility.
  • Maintain records which include the name and address of each exhibitor along with the species, class, and number of animals the person exhibited.


Cattle must be officially identified.

Deer and Elk

  1. Must be identified with official animal identification.
  2. A deer and elk movement report must be submitted to the Board within 14 days of exhibition (including certificate of veterinary inspection, if applicable).
  3. Animals must be confined in a manner to prevent escape.
  4. Animals must be restrained in transit.
  5. Animals must be confined in a manner to prevent commingling with any CWD susceptible livestock during exhibition.
    • See the link to USDA Exhibition Guidelines for CWD
  6. Animals moved interstate for exhibition must meet interstate movement requirements and the destination state’s import requirements for farmed cervids.

Additional recommendations:
Exhibition Guidelines for Chronic Wasting Disease, including biosecurity and separation protocols, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Sheep and Goats

Sheep and goats must be officially identified.


All chickens, turkeys, and gamebirds at exhibitions, except baby poultry, must be individually identified with a leg or wing band with a number on the band. The band may also include other letters such as names/initials. Hatching eggs and young poultry that are too small to band, can be exhibited as a group if the Hatchery Permit number or National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) number is written on the cage, box or enclosure.

At exhibitions, all chickens, turkeys, game birds, and hatching eggs from these birds must be accompanied by a certificate or test chart approved by the board to show compliance with the following requirement:

  • Pullorum-typhoid – originate from a hatchery or breeding flock that is classified U.S. Pollorum-Typhoid Clean under the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP); or be negative to a pollorum-typhoid test within 90 days prior to the opening date of exhibition.

If a test chart is used to demonstrate compliance, the band number on the bird must match the test chart. Please see the exhibition requirements document for more information and for the list of certificates and test charts approved for use.

For questions related to poultry exhibition requirements, please contact the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory at 320-231-5170.


Breeding and feeding swine must be officially identified, unless in slaughter classes only.


Horses, except suckling foals accompanying a negative dam, must be negative to an official equine infectious anemia (Coggins) test conducted within 12 months prior to the opening date of an exhibition.

Racetrack Import Requirements

In addition to Minnesota Board of Animal Health equine import and exhibition regulations, the Minnesota Racing Commission requires the following for horses entering Canterbury Park or Running Aces racetracks:

Health Certificates

All horses (including pony/outrider horses) entering the grounds for the first time must be accompanied by an original Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (health certificate) issued within ten (10) days of their arrival and a negative Coggins Test Certificate issued within 12 months of arrival. EHV-1 vaccination date and rectal temperature for each horse should be included on the health certificate. For those trainers shipping in and out, a copy of the health certificate valid for thirty (30) days will be available in the Commission’s veterinarian’s office upon request.


Every horse entering the enclosure of the racetrack must have been vaccinated by a veterinarian with an FDA approved modified live or killed virus vaccine specific for EHV-1 not less than 14 days and not more than 4 months prior to date of entry. The specific product used and expiration date  as well as the date the horse was vaccinated must appear on the health certificate.


Horses with a health certificate originating from a state with suspect cases of Equine Piroplasmosis (EP) must also have a negative test for Babesia equi taken within the previous 12 months. Currently this includes Texas, but is subject to change.

Documents must be attached in an email sent to the Minnesota Racing Commission prior to arrival.


Dogs four months of age or older must be accompanied by a certificate of rabies vaccination documenting that the dog is currently vaccinated for rabies.