A disease outbreak can cause tremendous losses to your operation, whether due to treatment costs, lost production, or even animal deaths. In general, diseases just don’t “appear” on an operation – they are somehow introduced through other animals, people, equipment, or other contaminated objects. Biosecurity measures are those activities taken to prevent the introduction, reintroduction or spread of diseases in an animal population. Biosecurity plan s will vary by operation and purpose and should be tailored to each specific farm. While there is no one biosecurity plan, general recommendations based on a farm assessment can be made to help develop “best management practices” for herd health on your operation. Biosecurity plans can also be disease-specific or situation-specific. For example, there are biosecurity plans designed to protect against bovine viral diarrhea and Johne’s disease, biosecurity plans to protect animals who travel for show or exhibition, and biosecurity plans for breeding stock.
A new on-farm Livestock Biosecurity Assessment Tool was introduced this past month thanks to the support of the 2021 USDA Farm Bill grant program.
If you are interested in finding out more about performing a biosecurity assessment of your operation, contact your local veterinarian or the state beef extension veterinarian at firstname.lastname@example.org.