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Vet says festival animals pose no public health risk

Register-Herald - 6/27/2018

June 27--After the health of two animals performing at the West Virginia Renaissance Festival was called into question by speakers at a public meeting earlier this month, Greenbrier County Commission President Woody Hanna called on a local veterinarian to investigate. No public health risk was found, Hanna reported.

Most of the concern centered on the possibility of an elephant named Essex transmitting tuberculosis to humans. An unnamed camel also came under suspicion. Both animals are used to offer rides to festival-goers.

Hanna asked Lewisburg veterinarian Pat McHale of Seneca Trail Animal Hospital to review health certificates for the two animals.

"(Dr. McHale) has reported to me that the two animals have all the vaccinations required of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including a negative tuberculosis test," Hanna said in a press release. "It is his conclusion that, based on the health certificates, these animals pose no health risks to the public."

The final stanza of this year's month-long run of the Renaissance Festival is slated for this coming weekend -- June 30 and July 1. "Time travelers" is the weekend's theme.

Hollow Hills Farm, home of the festival, is eight miles west of Lewisburg on U.S. 60.


(c)2018 The Register-Herald (Beckley, W.Va.)

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