News Release

For immediate release: January 9, 2014

Contact: Michael Crusan

Official identification required for livestock at exhibitions

Board of Animal Health offers free ear tags

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health reminds exhibitors of livestock that animals entering all classes of exhibition need to be officially identified. The Board is offering free official ear tags to help exhibitors meet the requirement.

The Board of Animal Health rules require official identification of all exhibition animals, except for swine entering slaughter classes and water fowl. Exhibitors are responsible for officially identifying their animals before bringing them to the fair. Additionally, anyone placing official ID in livestock must keep records. These rules provide better protection of animals and people at the fair by enabling the Board to more quickly locate potentially affected animals during a disease event.

“Showing livestock at the fair is a great learning opportunity,” said Dr. Beth Thompson, senior veterinarian at the Board of Animal Health. “By keeping records and bringing your animal to the fair with official ID, you are doing your part to make this year’s exhibition season run smoothly.”

The Board has coordinated efforts with the University of Minnesota Extension to provide free ear tags to 4-H exhibitors. Individuals showing animals through the 4-H program should contact their local extension office for more information.

Birds and poultry entering exhibition may be identified with a wing or leg band.

Exhibitors showing livestock in all other classes may obtain free official ID by calling the Board at (651) 296-2942 or ordering on-line.

For a complete list of Board-approved official ID, visit