Biosecurity for your farm

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Maintaining a biosecurity program is one of the most effective ways to control and prevent disease. The checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program helps beef producers have a common sense approach to production practices including biosecurity plans which include online training materials and videos.

click image to zoom Biosecurity is essential to protect livestock, pastures and personnel by preventing introduction of infectious diseases into an operation and maintain a safe food supply. The goal of biosecurity is to prevent, minimize and control cross-contamination of body fluids (feces, urine, saliva, etc.) between animals and with feedstuffs and/or equipment which may come in contact with animals. Biosecurity is also critical to maintain herd health for your livestock while keeping production cost low.

Checklist for establishing an on-farm biosecurity plan:

  • Establish a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)
  • Maintain a written biosecurity plan and update regularly with your veterinarian
  • Purchase feed from reputable sources
  • Clean equipment/ boots and change clothing between animal groups with different health statuses
  • Post signs at the farm entrance to inform visitors of procedures to follow (e.g., all visitors check in at office before entering)
  • Maintain fences to keep your animals in and others out
  • Minimize fence line contact with neighboring animals
  • Vaccinate your cattle against all endemic diseases
  • Know the herd history of all incoming animals or reintroduced animals and quarantine for at least 30 days
  • Plan on only purchasing tested animals
  • Educate yourself and employees to recognize and report diseases
  • Monitor and inspect animals daily for signs of illness and isolate all sick animals – designate a hospital pen
  • Promptly euthanize animals that are not going to recover and remove dead animals from your operation and properly dispose
  • Place animal delivery and load-out facilities on the perimeter of your farm
  • Keep detailed records (written or electronic) on all disease occurrences and treatments

For more information, review the BQA On-Farm Training manual or BQA.org.



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