Livestock Lessons: Keeping Your Place Bio-secure

Biosecurity is a word that we hear a lot from veterinarians and governmental agencies. But what is biosecurity and is it something that you should be worried about? Well, this is how I view biosecurity; it is taking measures to prevent the transfer of diseases from place to place and animal to animal.

So what does that mean?? It means that we do what we can to keep our animals healthy. We routinely practice some forms of biosecurity, such as cleaning out feeders or water tanks. However, we don’t often think of all the ways that disease can be spread from farm to farm.  Follow these five easy steps to biosecurity to keep your animals healthy.

1. Keep Your Distance – limit the traffic through your animals and know who is there. Also allow for “clean” areas between animal groups.

2. Keep It Clean – Don’t drag debris and other unwanted diseases to your animals. Clean and wash your clothes and footwear, especially if you have been visiting another farm.

3. Don’t Haul Disease Home – if you are taking your animal to show, an area where many animals are brought together, or you are purchasing a new animal, keep them separate from the rest of the animals. You don’t know what they might have picked up.

4. Don’t Borrow Disease – Sharing equipment is one way to spread disease. If you share with the neighbor, make sure that the equipment has been disinfected when you get it and when you send it back.

5. Be Informed – learning what diseases look like and how they are spread is an important step to biosecurity.

Following these simple steps and using good common sense, you and your animals will share a healthy relationship.

Author: Adam Hady

Agriculture Agent, Richland County UWEX

Originally Published: The Weekend Farmer, Winter 2006/07