4-H Animals and the Public

Do your animals meet the public? What you should know

Many of our 4-H clubs take their animals to public events and places. This can be an excellent educational activity for the public as well as positive promotion for 4-H. In recent years, more attention has been focused on diseases or bacteria animals can carry. Some events now have rules about petting animals and providing hand washing. Here are some tips for making an animal petting experience safe for the public:


  • Supervise anyone petting your animals. Remind them to wash their hands.
  • Post a sign reminding people that animals can carry disease and they should wash their hands after petting animals.
  • Know where washing stations or bathrooms are located and ask people to use them.
  • Consider providing a hand washing station. Hand sanitizer only works on clean hands.
  • Keep food and items like pacifiers away from the animal petting area.
  • Be prepared to answer questions from the public about diseases animals can carry.








Animal disease prevention tips

When moving and showing animals this summer, remember to use common sense and good biosecurity to prevent the spread of disease. Not only can animals give diseases to others of their species, but some of the most serious conditions are those that pass from one species to another. OSU Extension livestock expert Gene Pirelli has the following recommendations:


  • Segregation – prevent contact of your animals with other animals
  • At fair, restrict use of feed, equipment, and trailers between your animals and other animals; clean and disinfect after use
  • Notify a veterinarian immediately if an animal becomes sick
  • After fair, quarantine animals for 30 days; clean and disinfect equipment and bedding