Animal Care Policy

Guiding Principles

For more than a century, Western Fair Association has supported the agricultural community, exhibitors and customers, through the delivery of the Association’s agricultural mandate which includes livestock/animal competition and exhibition as part of the educational programming provided through the annual Western Fair and agri-business trade shows. Our agricultural roots run deep and the welfare of animals participating in various exhibitions, education programs and competitions at our site is a top priority for the Association.

Animals are always cared for to their breed standard and throughout the year the Association consults with professional veterinary advisors, animal husbandry experts, and the London Humane Society to benefit from their knowledge and expertise in animal care, health and handling. 

 The well-being of animals participating in events on our site must be safeguarded. It is essential that there is clear understanding and acceptance of responsibilities by all of our volunteers, staff, competitors, exhibitors and tenant rentals. The care of animals for competition, exhibition or education at our site requires both experience and the observation of accountable standards. Our guiding principles and practices are intended to ensure all those responsible for their implementation accept responsibility for the husbandry, care and handling outlined in the Animal Care Code of Practice. 

  • Our Association will keep current on regulatory policy and guidelines as needed and monitor industry information related to animal care. 
  • Our Association will ensure the ongoing maintenance of its Codes of Practice to create an environment that results in the respect and humane care of all animals at our site. 
  • Our Association will ensure our animal handlers are competent to handle and care for those animals. 
  • Our Association will ensure that people who have responsibilities in the organization for the production of events have knowledge of animal welfare and make sure those requirements are met. 


Animal Care Code of Practice 

Guidance and Regulatory 

Responsible management of animals and their care in our venues is informed with guidance from: 

  • Consultation with one or more veterinarians to ensure proper animal care 
  • Animal husbandry experts hired to supervise the management and care of farm animals participating in our events 
  • The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) Animal Protection Act. 


Our Association retains the right to dismiss, or suspend any person, including employees, personnel, contestants, contractors, promoters, clinicians, customers, performers and exhibitors who compromise the wellbeing of an animal and do not conform to our Association’s rules, conditions and codes of practice. Our Association has the ultimate and final authority on all matters of disciplinary action. 

We rely on the guidance of regulatory organizations and official veterinarians (OV) responsible for providing expert advice on the health, injury or disease status of an animal and its suitability for competition or display. (OV’s) will be experienced in treating the specific species of animals participating in events at our facilities. 

All licensed veterinarians (OV) who have been approved by our Association, must record all treatment provided by them on Animal Care Treatment Logs supplied by our Association. 

The Animal Care Treatment Log shall include: 

  • the name of the licensed veterinarian and any person acting under the veterinarian’s supervision and control; 
  • the name and identification of the animal to which veterinary treatment is provided by tattoo number, brand or description, including markings, colour, age, sex and microchip (where applicable); 
  • name of the owner; 
  • the place, date and time, and the nature of the treatment, prescription or administration; 
  • the identification of the drug or medication by generic name and dosage prescribed or administered, and circumstances, if applicable, that may have contributed to the reported condition. 

Copies of all Animal Care Logs will be kept on file at Western Fair Association 

Event Protocol 

All personnel, contractors, promoters, contestants, competitors and exhibitors will clearly understand and accept their responsibilities outlined in the Association’s Animal Care Code of Practice, where applicable. Each contestant/exhibitor/competitor, promoter or contractor is responsible for the animals he or she uses or provides during any event on site and must comply with all applicable sections of the Association’s Animal Care Code of Practice. 

Personnel, contractors, promoters, contestants, competitors and exhibitors must not intentionally treat animals in a way that compromises their well-being. Violation of the Association’s Animal Care Code of Practice by a Promoter could result in event cancellation. Violation of the Association’s Animal Care Code of Practice by an exhibitor/contestant/personnel could result in penalties up to an including eviction. 

Participation of Animals 

Any animal that is deemed unfit by the Association’s Official Veterinarian (OV) will not be permitted to participate. If an animal becomes sick or injured at our site, that animal will not be used and will be immediately treated by a licensed veterinarian. 

Care and Treatment of Animals at Events 

Experienced animal handlers will undertake the preparation of animals. 
Livestock should be provided with fresh water, food and bedding according to their breed standards. 
Livestock are to be cared for and treated as per their individual discipline and sport. 

Injured Animal Protocol 

Injured animals must be attended to as soon as possible with veterinary attention being sought immediately. 

Official Veterinary (OV) 

OV’s are scheduled accordingly by the Association to monitor and service the facilities housing animals, view newly arriving livestock and assigned to specific events that require supervision of animals. 

Stalling and Arenas 


a) Animals arriving on property must be housed in appropriate stalls. No animals can be tied to, or remain on trailers overnight. 

b) Animals must have access to well-maintained and clean stalling as well as, daily manure management procedures, proper ground preparation, and proper air flow. 

c) All livestock holding pens/stalls must have approved bedding (straw or shavings). 

d) All stalls and housing areas will be free of sharp edges and protrusions that may injure the animals. All penning material will be appropriate to the animal being housed to prevent the animal from getting their head or other body parts trapped or enabling escape from the pen. All enclosed pens will be equipped with gates that safely secure shut. 

e) Tie stalls will be equipped with appropriate rings for animals to be tied securely and comfortably. 

f) All animals that are tied up must be done in a secure manner, but with a quick release style knot allowing for easy removal in the event of an emergency. 

g) Stalling space is limited and will be provided as available, according to livestock individual needs and requirements. 

Arenas and Show Rings 

a) Arenas and Show Rings will be prepared in a safe manner for each scheduled event. 

b) The arena or show ring should have a suitable surface prepared to allow for secure footing and traction specific to the type of animal event. 

c) There must be no protrusions, jagged edges or gaps in fences, gateways or chutes that will cause injury to an animal. 

d) The arena or show ring must be free of holes, rocks, obstacles and any other hazards that may injure stock. 

e) All arenas or show rings must be designed to ensure safe containment of any animals that may get loose during a competition or event.