The Texas Major Livestock Shows are participating in a program supported by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Education Agency, Department of Agricultural Education, whereby all 4-‐H and FFA heifers exhibited at their shows will be required to be validated through the Texas 4-‐H and FFA Breeding Heifer Validation Program. Heifer projects will be identified appropriately with an official Texas Heifer Validation Unique Identification Number (UIN) bar code and DNA assay. The validation program will utilize the website Texas Livestock Validation to house and process validation information.
- It should be noted that validation is a proof of ownership as required by major livestock shows in Texas. It does NOT automatically enter exhibitors in a major livestock show or county livestock show.
This ethics policy applies to any 4-‐H/FFA member planning to exhibit animals at livestock shows in Texas. It includes junior as well as open class exhibitors who compete in structured classes of competition. All classes of livestock offered at the livestock event are included: Cattle (Beef and Dairy), Goats (Angora, Boer, dairy, meat, Cashmere), Equine (Horses), Llamas and other specialty animals, Poultry, Rabbits, Sheep, Swine, and any other livestock classes offered. This “Texas 4-‐H/FFA Livestock Program Ethics Policy” will be enhanced with additional rules and guidelines which individual fairs and livestock shows adhere to on the local, county, state, regional, and national levels.
The following practices or procedures are unacceptable and are defined as being deceptive, fraudulent, unethical, and inhumane in the care, fitting, preparation and showing of all classes of livestock. The use of any illegal drug is prohibited. Any substance used to phenotypically alter the appearance of an animal entered in livestock events is prohibited.
Proof of any animal being subjected to illegal and/or unethical practice(s) and/or procedure(s) described herein subjects the animal to immediate disqualification. The animal is ineligible for exhibition at any livestock show on the local, county, state, regional and national levels. The exhibitor will forfeit any premium, awards, or auction proceeds, and may be prohibited from future competition at livestock shows in Texas, as well as being subject to potential criminal prosecution.
The following is a listing of guidelines all 4-‐H/FFA exhibitors must follow to enter livestock at organized competitive events.
- Exhibitors must be bonafide members of a 4-‐H Club or FFA Chapter in the state of Texas and care for their animals under the direct supervision of a County Extension Agent or Agricultural Science Teacher. Exhibitors must be enrolled in, and attending, public or private and/or home school elementary or secondary schools in Texas. Exhibitors must be in grades 3rd – 12th for the exhibition year.
- 4-‐H members that plan to show horses at any of the twelve district and/or the Texas State 4-‐H Horse Show should submit a signed copy of this Ethics Policy with their entry forms. While items 3-‐9, listed below, do not apply to the horse project, there are specifics on ethics in the publication Texas 4-‐H Horse Show Rules and Regulations (AS 3-‐ 2.043) that do apply. The Texas State 4-‐H Horse Show and all of the district horse shows are conducted under the rules and regulations contained in this publication and 4-‐H’ers are expected to comply with those rules regarding ownership, management and treatment of horses. Horse validation deadline is May 1.
- All exhibitors must have viable proof (Junior division) of ownership available to prove length of time animals have been owned. Market animals (Beef, Sheep, Swine, Goats) must be owned and under exhibitor’s daily care by the following deadline dates: June 30 – All major Steers and State Fair Lambs, Goats, Swine; October 31 – Lambs and Goats; November 30 – Swine; to be eligible to participate at any major livestock show within Texas. This also includes all small market animals (Rabbits and Poultry). The official ownership date is the date shown on the bill of sale or receipt of sale, unless the animal was bred by the exhibitor, in which calving or birth records will be utilized. (Individual show rules may determine ownership requirements for non-‐market animals.) Registered breeding livestock must show the exhibitor as the sole owner of the animal on the breed association papers or certificates. Breeding animals with additional registration papers within the breed association of validation record or in another breed association may be evaluated for multiple ownership. If additional registration papers are found active within an association indicating ownership information conflicting with the exhibitor’s sole ownership designation, the breeding animal may be considered multiple-‐owned and subject to disqualification. Breeding animal validation deadlines dates: June 30 – Spring Heifer Validation; October 31 – Breeding Sheep and Goats and November 1 – Fall Heifer Validation.
- Exhibitors must continuously own and personally feed and care for their animal(s) throughout the entire feeding The feeding period begins immediately following the county level state validation date (not the validation deadline date listed previously) through exhibition at all shows (exhibitors must provide continuous care for breeding heifers, sheep and goats throughout the animal’s eligibility to show). Prior approval must be granted by the “Species Specific County Level State Validation Committee” in the event the animal will be outside the direct care of the exhibitor for more than 48 HOURS. Exceptions may be made with approval from the “Species Specific County Level State Validation Committee”. By signing this document, the exhibitor and parent/guardian, recognize his/her responsibilities for the feeding and care of livestock projects throughout the feeding period and hereby authorizes the State Validation Coordinator, supervising Agricultural Science Teacher/County Extension Agent and the “Species Specific County Level State Validation Committee” the right to inspect your livestock project(s) at any time during the feeding period with or without prior notice. Any exhibitor in violation of the feeding/care rule is subject to disqualification.
- Animals validated for major shows may also be exhibited at other Be advised, however, that if any validated animal is exhibited and SOLD at any other show, the animal will be ineligible to show at any subsequent major show. If ownership changes, regardless of method or length of time, that chain of animal ownership is considered broken.
- Any method used to misrepresent the age of an animal for a class in which it is shown is deceptive and considered a violation of the rules and
- Showing an animal for another individual by claiming ownership in order to show in a specific livestock class or event is False ownership is a violation of the rules and guidelines.
- Treating an animal internally or externally, with any irritant, counter-‐irritant, or other substance used to artificially change the conformation or appearance of an animal for show is considered unethical, inhumane, and is prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to the use of graphite, air, powders, hemp, artificial hair coloring, common products such as fly spray, ointment or liniment used to the point that is irritating, (unless required to reduce edema at time of calving) or similar type products. The use of dyes, spray paint or other artificial coloring which result in altering an animal’s true and natural appearance and/or color is prohibited. Adding false hair or hair-‐like material, fleece, or skin at any point, spot or area of the animal’s body is illegal and may result in immediate disqualification
- Surgery, injection or insertion of foreign material under the skin and/or into the flesh of an animal to change the natural contour, conformation or appearance of an animal’s body is This includes vegetable oil, air, silicon or any other substance used to alter the shape of the animal. Acceptable practices of physical preparation which are allowed include, clipping of hair, trimming of hooves, dehorning, removal of ancillary teats, and docking of tails.
- The use of inhumane fitting, showing and/or handling practices or devices shall not be
- The Administration of the Texas 4-‐H and/or FFA Programs reserve the final and absolute right to interpret these guidelines and to arbitrarily settle and determine all matters, questions, and differences in regard thereto, or otherwise arising out of or connected with or incident to ”Texas 4-‐H/FFA Livestock Program Ethics Policy”.
Any violation of the “Texas 4-‐H/FFA Livestock Program Ethics Policy” or specific rules as designated by individual fairs and livestock shows may result in forfeiture of premiums and awards, disqualification, and may result in probationary status and/or loss of eligibility for future participation in organized livestock competition. Possible civil penalties may be imposed by the proper authorities based on evidence provided by the livestock show of exhibitors in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act/or the animal mistreatment, neglect, and abandonment laws that apply on the local, state, and/or national levels. All rule violations will be dealt with on an individual basis by the “Specie Specific County State Validation Committee”, the State Validation Coordinators, and/or appropriate livestock show officials.