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The Livestock Exhibition is an important occasion for breeders, as their animals are judged according to their looks and performance, and the prize-winning animals are allowed to take part in the livestock procession.
Following the proposal of the Cantonal Council, on 9 March 1857, the Cantonal Parliament passed the first Regulation on the Promotion and Improvement of Cattle-Breeding, as the canton’s main source of income. This led to the introduction of annual livestock exhibitions in Schwyz, Lachen and Einsiedeln. That same year, 405 animals were registered at the first exhibition. Arth/Küssnacht and Schindellegi later also came to hold livestock exhibitions. Since the start of the exhibitions, promoting cattle-breeding was the key aim, as well as boosting the sale of cattle.
Over the years, the focus of the livestock exhibitions has changed. Today, they help breeders keep an overview of the industry and promote free-range farming, which, in turn, has a positive effect on the animals’ lifespan. The exhibition is the ideal platform for dialogue between the breeders and also serves as a further education venue.
Alongside its agricultural importance, the Livestock Exhibition today also has significant cultural and traditional value. It serves as a meeting place between the farming and non-farming population. The cattle procession is particularly popular among visitors. It is led by the children’s and adult folk-costume club with flag-twirlers. It is also attended by politicians, experts, honorary guests and the prize-winning bulls and cows.