Biosecurity Risk Assessment Chart for Visitors
Biosecurity refers to management measures taken to prevent disease agents from being introduced and spreading to and/or from animal populations or their proximity.
Biosecurity has three main components. These are:
1. Isolation = the confinement of animals away from other animals.
2. Traffic control = movement of people, animals, vehicles and equipment.
3. Sanitation/Husbandry = cleanliness and care of animals and their environment.
Isolation: the confinement of animals away from other animals.
The most common way that new diseases are introduced into a flock is through new animal additions. New animals and animals returning from exhibitions should be quarantined from resident animals for 4 weeks to allow for incubation periods of certain diseases.
Isolation areas (buildings and pens) should not share the same airspace as resident animals. A distance of 100 feet, if feasible, should separate buildings and pens. The farther away new animals are kept away from resident animals the better the isolation will be.
During the isolation period:
* All feet should be trimmed, inspected for foot rot and foot bathed in a 10% zinc sulfate solution.
* New purchases should not be allowed to join the resident sheep until they have been tested and proven to be free of drug-resistant (anthelmintic) internal parasites or worms. (Your veterinarian can assist you with this test, also known as the fecal egg count reduction test.)
Strict precautions should be taken to avoid spreading contaminants:
Precautions include hand washing, wearing different clothing and footwear, disinfecting feeding and watering equipment and other fomites.
Before adding animals to your flock remember these principles:
Traffic Control: movement of people, animals, vehicles and equipments.
Flock owners and employees should avoid taking biosecurity risks with their own livestock. These include:
1. Exposure of the owner or employees to other flocks or other livestock. Be a good neighbor!
Don't carry diseases from your place to someone else's place. Avoid unnecessary animal contact when visiting other livestock facilities. Take precautions so you don't carry diseases back to your own place. Change overalls or clothes in between farms. Also either clean and disinfect your boots before entering and when leaving another livestock premises or wear disposable plastic boot covers. Dispose of plastic boots at the farm when your visit is finished.
Require all visitors to maintain strict sanitation standards. Assess risk factors posed by visitors and take steps to limit their contact with your animals and premises. Do not allow visitors to enter pens or feed alleys, or touch animals unless necessary. Disposable boots or boot washing stations should be available for visitors and required to be used. Provide visitors with protective coveralls and disposable boots or make thorough boot washing and disinfection required before and after the visit.
2. Poor traffic control (vehicle and personnel) and poor sanitation of vehicles, equipment and clothing may lead to the introduction of disease and is a breach of biosecurity.
Livestock haulers, feed delivery trucks, dead-stock haulers, etc., should be allowed limited access, and should be held to strict sanitation standards. These standards vary between operations and their physical set-up; however the principles include:
Shearing crews should sanitize their equipment between flocks and wear freshly laundered clothing and clean, disinfected footwear.
Veterinarians, brand inspectors and others who may have close contact with your animals should be very aware of the need for sanitation and take appropriate sanitary measures for their footgear, outerwear and equipment. They should arrive in clean vehicles and wear protective clothing or boots that can be changed or disinfected before leaving.
Sanitation: the practice of maintaining a clean, healthy environment for animals.
Keep things clean and picked up! Good sanitation is a necessity in biosecurity.
Disinfectants are commonly used on vehicles and boots as well as feeding, manure handling and shearing equipment.
* One Stroke Environ is available in many farm stores and veterinary supply houses.
* Vikron S is a relatively new compound now available in many farm supply outlets. It is active against many viruses and bacteria, and the manufacturer indicates that it can be used on a variety of types of equipment. It comes as a powder that must be mixed with water before use, and the powder must be kept in a sealed container.
* Common bleach can be a good disinfectant for clean, relatively non-porous surfaces where there is little organic matter contamination. It is usually mixed at about 4 ounces of bleach per gallon of water. Bleach can cause rusting; it should not be used on galvanized surfaces, and should not be used with ammonia-containing compounds because this may generate toxic fumes.
Always follow the label when using disinfectants. Many of them will need to be rinsed off the surface if animals, or their food, will have intimate contact.
Husbandry: the care of animals and their environment.
Husbandry is associated with care of animals, but is defined as the management of resources. Poor husbandry practices facilitate disease transmission within and between flocks. Animals in good physical condition will have a better chance recovering from disease and may be more resistant to challenges from minor disease.
Husbandry is associated with care of animals, but is defined as the management of resources. One way of managing resources is by performing your own risk assessment. When conducting your risk assessment regarding biosecurity realize that if it is not practical it will not be a success. Take into account when conducting your risk assessment for the following practicalities:
Use your veterinarian to assist you in developing a biosecurity plan. Routine consultation by an impartial eye can spot areas that might become a problem. Plan a routine flock health program with your veterinarian that includes vaccination and other disease prevention measures; it is less costly and more economical than cleaning up problems. Have your veterinarian perform necropsies on a regular basis to alert you to developing problems – it provides answers and eliminates guesswork. Follow import/export requirements for your flock that you and your veterinarian establish together.
Biosecurity is important in maintaining good flock health. If you have questions regarding biosecurity, contact your local veterinarian, agricultural extension agent or state veterinarian.
Why do I need to be aware of biosecurity?
Economically speaking, it is worth it because it: