Biosecurity is the thorough set of coordinated practices employed to protect animal health, maintain high standards of hygiene management, and prevent the importation ad spread of infectious organisms into a herd or flock. Farm biosecurity is a vital aspect of farming today, and with the growing demands that pose several different types of challenges, it is important to have a strong foundation of biosecurity in place.
The modern day farmer must remain competitive within the industry whilst applying compliance procedures that legislate for the health and hygiene of the herd or flock. The industry continues to change at fast pace, with supply chains, customers and end consumers all applying different pressure points. Biosecurity is delivered in many forms, from isolation, to resistance and sanitation. Isolation and resistance are formulated through processes and protocols relating to the way a farm is set out, the access granted to certain individuals, as well as the movement and transit of animal and products. Sanitation is the process of removing or eradicating infected carriers whilst simultaneously disinfecting contaminated equipment and facilities. If you are in charge of the running of a farm, whether you raise beef, dairy cattle, fish, fowl, sheep or pigs, it is important to build a relationship with a supplier that offers a comprehensive range of products to help you create a strong sanitation pillar within your biosecurity plans.
The sanitation process as part of the wider biosecurity system on a farm is the part that takes the most time to implement effectively, and is a process that should be conducted on a daily basis. It is quite often the key aspect of a biosecurity plan as it is the frontline of the fight against the spread of infectious diseases. The first aspect of biosecurity is the removal or eradication of carrier animals that have been infected on a consistent basis. From there, a disinfection process can begin, using biosecurity products of a high standard, to extensively clean any equipment and facilities that may be contaminated.
Any contaminated materials should be removed during the sanitation process, and prior to the disinfecting of the area in question. Disinfect all floors, partitions and all other objects in the area that could serve as fomites and be a home to pathogens. Without the extensive and thorough removal of the pathogen in all areas, an infectious agent can still be given a route back in to re-enter the herd and infect animals once again.
The quality of the disinfectants and other biosecurity products used is important, as it is imperative that infectious agents do not remain on the farm, but that they also are not allowed to enter the food chain or neighbouring herds. Sanitation helps to eradicate pathogens, with many bacteria and viruses having a short life span once outside of the host in an unprotected environment. If left to be protected in organic material, however, a pathogen’s lifespan can grow for many years. Biosecurity products should therefore be used to clean all aspects of the area and all equipment used in order to leave no welcoming services or materials for pathogens to become attached to.
With a common sense approach and use of the highest quality of disinfectants, cleaners and other products, biosecurity measures can be implemented on every farm in an effective way.