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Maintaining High Biosecurity Can Help Combat Disease Spread

by 5m Editor
27 April 2007, at 3:27am

UK - Biosecurity is a great buzz word, but what does it really mean?

It means protecting the health of our animals and avoiding new diseases being introduced into the herd.
Biosecurity may also have a positive impact on your personal health by keeping out zoonotic diseases such as salmonella and leptospirosis, which are transmissible from animal to man.

Many people will question whether there is really any benefit from having biosecurity at farm level.

If we think back to digital dermatitis, that came into the UK from the Netherlands, or indeed foot-and-mouth, this is a classic example of how disease can be introduced on to our farms.

There is a very big difference between pig, poultry and dairy farms. If we visit pig or poultry farms, then on the professionally-run units you cannot drive on to the farm premises and you have to change into overalls and boots provided by the unit before you can walk around them. This is because of the high concentration of animals in pig and poultry units and the risk of disease getting into the herd being very significant.

Lorries are not allowed to come into contact with animals and feed lorries and vehicles collecting stock will load or unload from an outside area. This is biosecurity at its best and there are examples here that should be considered on dairy farms.

There is a wide range of common diseases that can be introduced on to a dairy farm including salmonella, BVD, Johne’s disease, leptospirosis, IBR, digital dermatitis, Staph. aureus mastitis, Mycoplasma mastitis and TB.

The risk of introducing TB should be reduced now due to pre-movement testing, but the others could be introduced from replacement animals, common watercourses, or spreading slurry from other farms onto your land.

Source: Farmers Guardian

5m Editor