LANSING – In recent years, diseases like high pathogenicity avian influenza in poultry and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus in swine have brought heightened awareness to farmers’ biosecurity practices.
Biosecurity is essentially a set of farm management practices working to prevent animals from coming in contact with germs which would cause them illness. While how the practices are implemented may vary from farm to farm, there are always the same key components:
Keep Your Distance: It’s important to restrict animal access to people, wildlife and other domestic animals that could potentially be carrying disease. In addition, any time new animals are added to a farm, there should always be a period of time in which they are separated from other animals to ensure they are healthy before introducing them to the established animals.
Keep It Clean: Washing your hands, clothes and footwear thoroughly before and after working with animals and regularly cleaning and disinfecting your equipment are essential to the prevention of disease on any farm.
Don’t bring in disease: It’s important to think twice before sharing equipment or supplies with neighbors. If you decide to share equipment with others, always clean and disinfect equipment before and after sharing. It’s also important to disinfect boots, vehicle and other items after returning from another farm.
Recognize a sick animal: Early detection of unhealthy animals can help prevent the spread of the disease among your animals and in your community. It is always wise to consult with your local, licensed veterinarian.
“Regardless of the size of your farm, it’s crucial to always implement and practice proper biosecurity,” said State Veterinarian Dr. James Averill. “Not only does it prevent your animals from becoming ill, it protects Michigan’s animals.”
MDARD asks farmers experiencing severe illness or multiple death losses in their animals to contact us at 800-292-3939 or for after-hours emergencies call 517-373-0440.
Information Courtesy: Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development