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Pig DNA tests, ear tags for fair available April 1
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MONROE - All Green County fair swine exhibitors will be required to self-identify their pigs using the same method that was used in 2014. Exhibitors will be required to tag their own pigs and pull hair samples for DNA testing from each fair pig. The cost of the DNA test kits will be $5 per pig. Exhibitors will also be given two RFID ear tags for each animal at no additional cost.

DNA test kits and ear tags will only be available for pickup at the Green County Extension Office, 2841 6th St. The DNA kits and ear tags will be available for pick up starting April 1. The kits cannot be mailed.

Exhibitors will be required to tag their pigs and return their hair samples to the University of Wisconsin-Extension Office by April 20 to exhibit the pigs at the 2015 fair. Hair samples will be pulled from the champion pigs along with several pigs at random at the fair this summer. DNA tests will then be run to ensure that the pigs are the same as those that were tagged by exhibitors this spring.

The Green County UW-Extension Office will loan out ear taggers for exhibitors to use. The taggers must be returned to the UW-Extension office and will be sanitized before being given to another farm to prevent the spread of disease. Exhibitors will be required to pay the $5 fee for each DNA testing kit when they pick them up. 4-H Leaders and Agriculture instructors will be allowed to pick up ID kits for their members but will be required to sign and pay for all the kits that they pick up at the UW-Extension Office.

The kit will include an envelope for hair samples and two RFID ear tags. The DNA hair samples and the County of Origin Labeling forms must be returned to the UW-Extension Office by April 20. The hair samples and forms should not be mailed.

When picking up their pig identification kits, exhibitors will be provided with instructions on the correct procedures for pulling the DNA hair samples and placing the RFID ear tags. The DNA hair sample envelopes will need to be signed by both the exhibitor and a parent. Exhibitors will also receive COOL forms with their ID kits. These forms will also need to be signed by both the exhibitor and a parent and returned with the DNA samples. Only pigs that are identified using the Green County ID kits will be eligible to exhibit at the 2015 Green County fair.

All pigs, including both market gilts and market barrow, will need to be self-identified and submit hair samples this year. Each exhibitor can identify a maximum total of five pigs. Exhibitors will be allowed to bring a maximum of four total pigs, no more than two of which can be market gilts. Pigs must weigh at least 225 pounds by the fair to show and at least 235 to sell in the Green County fair livestock auction.

The 2015 Green County show will continue to be a terminal show with all pigs going directly to a terminal market after the fair to eliminate the possible spread of any diseases.

All Green County swine exhibitors are required to be certified in the Meat Animal Quality Assurance Program prior to June 1 to be eligible to exhibit swine at the Green County Fair.

Swine exhibitors will also be required to complete swine health verification forms for that include any medical treatments that were administered to the project animal. These forms will be distributed to exhibitors when they pick up their ID kits and must be turned in to the Green County UW-Extension Office by July 6.

For more information contact Mark Mayer, UW-Extension agriculture agent at 608-328-9440.