Biosecurity and Disease Prevention
Summary written by Colin Macaldowie, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS
Taken from Moredun Foundation Newsheet Volume 3 No. 12
- Biosecurity means taking steps to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious disease.
- Foot and Mouth Disease has underlined the importance of biosecurity as a subject that should be continuously addressed as part of normal farm management.
- Livestock movement onto the farm is one of the biggest risks for disease introduction, so try to adopt a closed herd or flock management policy wherever possible.
- If you do have to purchase livestock ensure you know as much as possible about their health status. Always aim to purchase animals that have been accredited under a recognised Health Scheme.
- When moving animals onto the farm, always ensure they undergo an adequate period of quarantine in secure accommodation before introduction to your existing animals.
- Never mix animals together without considering the possible disease risks.
- Examine ways in which you can improve farm security to prevent animals or people inadvertently bringing diseases in. Focus on farm boundaries, farm entry and exit points and farm buildings.
- Poor hygiene and environmental conditions lead to increased risk of infection. Strive to improve standards outside, in animal buildings and in feed storage areas.
- Develop pro-active strategies for disease prevention rather than adopting a reactive approach. Discuss the development of health plans, disease surveillance programmes and disease response strategies with your veterinary surgeon on a regular basis.
- The Moredun Foundation has produced newsheets on a number of sheep and cattle diseases that improved biosecurity can help to control. Please contact your veterinary surgeon or refer to these newsheets for further information.
More information on disease prevention can be found on the DVD 'Managing Your Flock for Peak Health' - programme 2 in the series 'Sheep on Your Smallholding'.
The full news sheet for any of the disease summaries can be ordered from the Moredun Foundation by using the following request form. The first news sheet title requested is free*, further news sheet titles are charged at £5.00 per copy (including postage).
*offer limited to one news sheet title per postal address in any one year. After that each news sheet will be charged at the standard price of £5.00 (including postage).
Moredun Membership Scheme
Moredun runs a membership scheme which aims to keep farmers and their vets up to date with the latest developments in animal health research. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Moredun Foundation, please click here.