Organizers of the Ontario Holstein Spring Show have canceled the event due to a lack of participation. The show, held in Stratford, Ontario, usually draws 150 to 200 registered Holsteins. However, only 20 animals had arrived two days before the elite show, causing the cancellation.

Although foot-and-mouth disease has not entered Canada or the United States,
many livestock farmers are wary of foreign visitors who have been in the European countries affected by the disease. Many Ontario dairy producers associate foreign buyers with the show and “that may be the concern of those who have decided not to participate,” said John Palmer, with Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

Similarly, eight Open Barn events scheduled for this summer in New Hampshire have been canceled, said Matty Huckins, executive director of Granite State Dairy
Promotion. The family-oriented events, which include barn tours and dairy-product tastings, drew almost 10,000 visitors last year.

“Each farmer has to decide how much risk he wants to take,” Clifford McGinnis, the New Hampshire state veterinarian said. “Nowadays, someone can be on a farm in England one day, and the next day be on a farm in New Hampshire.”

McGinnis said fairs and expos are particularly risky. “It's like sending kids to school, they come back with all sorts of bugs.”

Other major expos and fairs, including World Dairy Expo, are watching the European outbreak closely and making decisions about whether to include cattle at the events. “The health of the U.S. dairy herd is a top priority for this organization and nothing will be done that will jeopardize this industry,” says Marjorie Stieve, marketing manager for World Dairy Expo.