MIAMI COUNTY — On Wednesday, the fair board confirmed they received test results from the state veterinarian office that confirmed that coccidiosis is the illness that struck many animals in the rabbit barn during the Miami County Fair.
The Miami County Fair Board has closed the rabbit barn to the public due to animals’ failing ill.
According to Jill Wright, Miami County Ag Society secretary, “It is only in rabbits, this strain, so humans don’t have to worry about it nor do other animals. Thankfully, we did preventative measures so those that had it were gone and treated and all those who are still on the fairgrounds or those that went home, they were all given a prescription for medication.”
Animals were treated at the fair and others took their animals to their own veterinarians, Wright said.
Wright said at the closing of the Miami County Fair on Thursday, the barn and cages will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
There is no danger to the public who might have been in contact with the animals exhibited during the fair.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture released the following statement to the fair board:
ODA has recommended the release of all rabbits at the Miami County Fair due to coccidia outbreak in the rabbit barn. The show was completed the day prior. The rabbits may be sold, but will not physically be going through the sale. Lab tests at IDEXX and ODA ADDL labs indicate coccidia presence in high numbers in the fecal samples. Although coccidia is normally present in the intestinal track of rabbits, stress can cause an outbreak of disease.
“It is my understanding that the rabbit facility at the fair was very warm, and that along with the stress of the show, could easily cause the outbreak,” stated Tony M. Forshey, DVM, State Veterinarian, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health in a press release.
All Miami County Fair exhibitors were offered prescriptions of recommended medication to eliminate the issue from any rabbit that was on the fairgrounds. Exhibitors were also provided treatment plans and safety protocols to prevent further spread of the issue.
Exhibitors will still be able to sell their projects in the Sale of Champions and the general livestock sale, but the animals must remain in the barn or transported home. Exhibitors can take photos, posters, or even stuffed animals through the sale.
On Wednesday evening, the board closed the barn to the public to reduce stress to the animals who fell ill.