OBJECTIVE To identify the geographic distribution of exhibition swine in the Midwestern United States, characterize management practices used for exhibition swine, and identify associations between those practices and influenza A virus (IAV) detection in exhibition swine arriving at county or state agricultural fairs.
DESIGN Cross-sectional survey.
SAMPLE 480 swine exhibitors and 641 exhibition swine.
PROCEDURES Inventories of swine exhibited at fairs in 6 selected Midwestern states during 2013 and of the total swine population (including commercial swine) in these regions in 2012 were obtained and mapped. In 2014, snout wipe samples were collected from swine on arrival at 9 selected fairs in Indiana (n = 5) and Ohio (4) and tested for the presence of IAV. Also at fair arrival, swine exhibitors completed a survey regarding swine management practices.
RESULTS Contrary to the total swine population, the exhibition swine population was heavily concentrated in Indiana and Ohio. Many swine exhibitors reported attending multiple exhibitions within a season (median number, 2; range, 0 to 50), with exhibited swine often returned to their farm of origin. Rearing of commercial and exhibition swine on the same premises was reported by 13.3% (56/422) of exhibitors. Hosting an on-farm open house or sale was associated with an increased odds of IAV detection in snout wipe samples.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The exhibition swine population was highly variable and differed from the commercial swine population in terms of pig density across geographic locations, population integrity, and on-farm management practices. Exhibition swine may be important in IAV transmission, and identified biosecurity deficiencies may have important public and animal health consequences.