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Farm Biosecurity

A series of management practices designed to minimize or prevent the importation of infectious agents onto a farm.

Overview

These management practices include testing and screening for diseases, isolation or quarantine of infected animals, immunization, selective purchasing, and monitoring and herd evaluation.  Biosecurity is practiced as a preventative approach to herd health, as minimizing risk of disease minimizes frequency of disease.

Despite all of the talk of biosecurity, there are cases of insufficient action when implementing these management practices.  However, the steps necessary to put sound biosecurity practices into place typically do not require capital investment, only management changes.

There are three stages of biosecurity:

  1. Risk assessment: identifying potential concerns or problems.  Evaluating who and what leaves and comes onto the farm, prioritizing risk of infection, and evaluating how diseases could enter the farm are all steps of risk assessment. 
  2. Risk management: implementing a biosecurity plan based on the findings from the risk assessment stage. 
  3. Risk communication: effecting a total buy-in to a biosecurity program.

Biosecurity Resources

Included are risk assessment documents, biosecurity zone signs, risk area signs, presentations given by extension veterinarians regarding biosecurity, and outside resources to assist in implementing a biosecurity program.

Farm Biosecurity: A series of management practices designed to minimize or prevent the importation of infectious agents into a herd or flock, and reduce the within-farm transmission of disease.