News and Updates

Know Before You Show: Let TVMDL help you prepare for fair and stock show entry requirements

Feb2014bogpost_goatExhibition livestock and poultry crisscross the state and country daily, traveling to local fairs and state competitions. No time is as busy as the major stock show season, when cattle, equine, sheep, goats, rabbits and poultry travel to competitions. However, owners don’t just load their animal in the trailer and hit the road. First, livestock must meet intrastate and interstate travel requirements, and then they must meet specific show requirements. At the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL), we offer livestock and poultry owners efficient testing to cover entry requirements for showing and transport.

First stop, the veterinarian
Most shows require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) that was issued no later than 30 days prior to the event date. Your local veterinarian can take the sample needed for the required show testing; TVMDL can then run the requisite tests. When results are received, your veterinarian can issue the CVI for your show animal.

Animals entering the State of Texas for exhibit and sale require a CVI and a permit for entry—generally valid only for 15 days—which can be obtained by contacting the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) at 1-800-550-8242.

The complete list of TAHC-required tests for traveling to any fair or stock show, and also some general show entry requirements is available at It is recommended to contact the show or event for a detailed list of their test requirements.  Requirements for terminal shows, where the animal is sold or sent to slaughter, are different than those for breeding stock shows.

Each species has its own designated tests, and TVMDL has the means to run all of them. From poultry to cattle, the TVMDL professionals are experienced and efficient at conducting and interpreting diagnostic   tests. It is also important that you allow time for the testing to be conducted and results to be received.

TVMDL offers excellent, trustworthy testing for cattle, poultry, sheep, goats, equines and other species of show animals.

Second stop, the show
Obtaining the official required test results ensures the animal makes it to the show, but owners should be aware of other issues that can affect the animal’s eligibility. Pharmaceuticals and other substances can be used to prevent sickness, treat sickness or to make a change in body function or appearance to gain advantage in a livestock show. While at the show, your animal may be tested for banned substances. Officials test urine or blood for an array of drugs. TVMDL handles the drug testing for thousands of show animals yearly, working with international, national, state and local shows annually.

  1. Drug avoidance becomes important before and during a show event.
  2. Guard your animal and guard your feed.
  3. Feed only the regular ration.
  4. If changing feed, “natural” feeds do not mean harmless.
    • Some natural dewormers contain tobacco and that would not pass a drug screening.
    • Caffeine diuretics such as coffee, tea, chocolate, may also cause problems.
    • Animals should not be fed alcohol or beer.
  5. Do not use human drugs on your show animal.

If your animal needs to be under a veterinarian’s treatment prior to the show, make sure the veterinarian knows the animal is intended for the show arena or feed yard to ensure the proper medication is administered. Not all drugs are intended for use in breeding animals!

It is in the best interest of all livestock and poultry owners to follow the state animal health regulations and individual show requirements.

If you have questions regarding your animal’s feed or antibiotics, or have a question relating to drug-testing, please contact TVMDL Toxicology Section Head Tam Garland, DVM, PH.D., at or at 979.845.3414.

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