Biosecurity is a word that individuals will hear a lot in the farming industry, but not everyone knows exactly what it entails. Biosecurity is a series of measures that are used to protect against the entry and spread of pests and diseases, particularly on a farm. The measures taken can typically be adapted to suit any industry that deals with pests and potential diseases that can spread. For this article, however, we’re going to be talking specifically about biosecurity on farms.
Basic biosecurity in practice
Biosecurity is something that all good farmers and producers will practise to some extent, whether they are completely aware of their actions to do so or not. If a farmer has any kind of boundary fence that keeps out sheep or cattle from other farms, or if they refuse to buy animals that have obvious signs of footrot, these are the simplest forms of biosecurity in practice.
Other examples can be seen in the form of pest control that farmers will use around their farm to help reduce the number of flies that could potentially spread disease. Or even the daily washing of any machinery used on the farm, hygiene is one of the most valuable ways to reduce the risk of disease on a farm.
Controlling exotic diseases
No matter where you are in the world, the risk of exotic disease may be present. Outbreaks of exotic diseases are a huge reminder of how vulnerable the farming and livestock industry is to the invasion of diseases; exotic or otherwise. One of the major diseases that the farming and livestock industry is concerned about is foot-and-mouth disease.
However, diseases such as foot-and-mouth can be prevented using strict biosecurity techniques alongside keeping your ear to the ground and reporting any potential cases. The early recognition and reporting of foot-and-mouth, in particular, has a huge influence on the time it would take to eradicate the disease. There are strict measurements in place in every country to ensure that animals infected with foot-and-mouth don’t cross the borders.
As an individual in the farming and livestock industry, you don’t have to be able to accurately diagnose foot-and-mouth on your property, but you do have to be vigilant and report any suspicion of disease. If you see any signs or anything unusual affecting your livestock, you should contact your local private or government vet immediately.
By using good biosecurity on your farm, such as rigorous cleaning techniques and supplements to help keep your animals healthy, you can achieve a number of things.
The practices of a good biosecurity plan minimise the spread of disease and ensures that, even if an outbreak occurs, the disease would be confined to a small part of the farm, making it easier to control.