Show Ring Code of Ethics
Adopted April 3, 2004
Grooming and Preparation
Violations: False, Deceptive or Unacceptable Practices
Show Ethics Committee
Violations: Reporting and Investigation
PDCA endorses this Show Ring Code of Ethics for all dairy breed shows and pledges its full cooperative support for its enforcement to show management, show judges, and the national breed associations.
The application of this Code of Ethics provides for absolute responsibility for an animal’s condition by an owner, exhibitor, fitter or participant whether or not he or she was actually instrumental in or had actual knowledge of the treatment of the animal in contravention of this Code of Ethics. Dairy cattle exhibitors shall at all times deport themselves with honesty and good sportsmanship.
It is recognized that there are certain practices in the proper care and management of dairy cattle that are necessary in the course of moving dairy cattle to and between shows that are advisable to keep them in a sound, healthy state so they might be presented in the show ring in a natural, normal condition. At all times, exhibition livestock shall be treated in a humane manner and in accordance with dairy quality assurance practices so as to protect the health, safety and welfare of the livestock and the consuming public. No person shall present for exhibition or exhibit an animal which he or she knows, or has reason to suspect, is affected with or has been exposed to a dangerously contagious or infectious disease, disease, or illegal or non-approved use of drugs, medication and/or prohibited substance, or residue.
The position of the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association is that all animals presented for exhibition shall be in their natural conformation and structure, free of any alteration or modification by injection or internal or external administration of any substance or by any involvement in unethical fitting.
Dairy cattle exhibitions are conducted under standards for evaluating conformation established by the PDCA Unified Score Card (1994), with specific breed characteristics taken into consideration by the show judge. In this connection, animals will be groomed and prepared for the judge’s evaluation in order to display the animal’s natural contour, conformation, performance and mobility. Specifically:
These practices are violations of the Code of Ethics and will be reported to show management and may be reported to the respective national breed associations:
a. with an irritant or counter-irritant,
b. using a device to artificially create or enhance the udder crease,
c. using other substances as detected by testing that causes changes in the udder to artificially improve the conformation,
d. plugging of teat canal with foreign substances.
The act of entering an animal in a livestock show is the giving of consent by the owner, exhibitor, fitter and/or absolutely responsible person (hereinafter referred to as “Exhibitor”) for show management to obtain any specimens of urine, saliva, blood, milk, or other substances from the animal to be used in testing. Materials may also be collected by ultrasound and photographic methods and by direct examination of animal.
The act of entering an animal is the giving of consent by the owner, exhibitor, fitter and/or absolutely responsible person (the “Exhibitor”) to have disciplinary action for violation of this Show Ring Code of Ethics taken by show management, the state in which the show occurs, and/or the national dairy breed association without recourse.
Each show should have an Ethics Committee. The make-up of this committee should include official breed representatives, representative(s) of show management (e.g., dairy cattle show superintendent, General Manager), the official show veterinarian, and Extension representative.
The Ethics Committee will be responsible for monitoring violations of the Show Ring Code of Ethics. The Ethics Committee will investigate the report of any violation and determine the accuracy of the allegation. The Ethics Committee will have the authority to inspect animals and related material to determine if violations have occurred.
Complaints of alleged violations can be reported to the breed superintendent, the show superintendent, show management, and/or the Ethics Committee.
Before An Animal is Shown
If the Ethics Committee suspects that a violation of the Show Ring Code of Ethics will occur if the animal is shown, and that violation is reasonably well established before the animal is shown, the Ethics Committee will submit a report to show management.
During and After An Animal is Shown
All animals are subject to examination during judging. The judge and Ethics Committee are instructed to examine the top five (5) animals in each class closely for violations of the Show Ring Code of Ethics. When a violation may have occurred, a milkout may be called for. This call may be by breed association rule, or by request of an authorized representative of the national breed association, the judge, the Ethics Committee, or show management.
If an animal is exhibited and a violation of the Show Ring Code of Ethics is subsequently suspected, investigated, and determined to have occurred, the violation will be reported to the Ethics Committee and show management for action. The Exhibitor will be notified of the violation and the supporting evidence and invited to defend or explain the allegations.
Violations are subject to the disciplinary provisions of show management, the state in which the show occurs, and the national dairy breed association. Sanctions may include any one, or combination of the following:
forfeiture or return of awards, prizes, premiums or proceeds;
written letter of reprimand to the owner, exhibitor, fitter and/or absolutely responsible person (the “Exhibitor”);
disqualification of the exhibition livestock from an exhibition;
disqualification of the Exhibitor from the show;
publication of offense.
Disqualification may include any or all shows and classes and may be for any number of years.
History: Adopted by PDCA in March 1969, revised March 1971, February 1977, February 1981, February 1986, February 1988, February 1989, February 1992, February 1993, November 1995, April 2002; April 2004.
The Purebred Dairy Cattle Association, Inc. is a federation of the national dairy breed registry associations serving breeders and owners of Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Guernsey, Holstein, Jersey, Milking Shorthorn and Red and White dairy cattle. PDCA and its member organizations promote the added value and profitability registered dairy cattle offer all dairy business owners.