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4-H Biosecurity Planning Information
Ready to move your animals out? Don't bring diseases in!
Biosecurity refers to practices designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate the introduction and spread of diseases into a herd, between herds and between species. If you’re planning on bringing animals from your farm to an event where other animals will be present, one of the first things that should be discussed is biosecurity.
Biosecurity starts with education. Everyone involved in the event needs to be informed of the importance of biosecurity prior to any animal movement. We can only make good decisions when we have knowledge about the issue. Below is a checklist of best practices to follow prior to, during and after the event; these practices apply to different species including cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and others:
Prior to the event:
- Ensure that animals are healthy and fit for transport. Unhealthy animals can be a source of disease to other animals. In addition, they are more likely to become ill. Unhealthy animals, regardless of the cause, should stay home.
- Just like humans, animals should be current with their vaccinations.
- When in doubt about taking animals to the event, ask from advice well in advance of the event.
During the event:
- Trailers used for animal transportation should be cleaned inside and out between uses. Best practice if sharing trailers with others is to empty, scrape, wash and disinfect them between different animal groups.
- To prevent the transfer of disease from other animals, limit the sharing of equipment such as buckets, shovels, halters, lead ropes, etc. between exhibitors. Best practice is to have your own water troughs and buckets.
- If a peer is helping you, ask them to wash their hands and to wear clean clothes (you may wish to provide a set of your farm coveralls or a spare change of clothes) prior to handling your animals. Remind them to wash their hands before returning to their own animals.
- If you handled others’ animals, best practice is to wash your hands and change coveralls and boots before going back to your animals.
- Minimize animal stress by keeping them cool, well bedded and comfortable. Offer high quality feed and water with minimum changes from what they are used to.
- If an animal becomes ill, immediately consult the event’s veterinarian or your own.
- If you’re caring for animals at the event, avoid doing animal-related chores at home during this time. If this is not possible, do chores at home first wearing clothing and footwear that stays home. Animals left at home should not be in contact with clothes and footwear used at the show.
After the event:
Clean and disinfect all items before taking them home. This includes, trailers, tools, equipment, and anything that could have had animal contact.
Properly dispose of unused bedding, hay, and feed after the show according to the event’s recommendations. Do not bring them home, unless they stayed in your trailer and never entered the barn.
A best practice is to transport your animals in your own vehicle and/or trailer.
Whenever possible avoid hauling animals from other farms in your trailer. When this is not possible, best practice is to empty, scrape, wash and disinfect your trailer before using it with your animals.
After arriving home, keep show animals in a designated isolation pen away from other animals and pets for 3 weeks.
Care for isolated animals last. Use designated clothing and footwear as well as tools and equipment to care for these animals. Wash your hands before and after caring for these animals.
Check isolated animals every day for any signs of illness.
Contact a veterinarian immediately if you observe anything unusual in any animal.
For further information checkout:
Feeding and Management of Your 4-H Beef Project Animal this is a webinar and will take you YouTube to view
Dun Rite Stock and Stables Clinic Information has experienced clinicians that can present a wide range of informative clinics -- http://www.dunritestockandstables.com/Upcoming-Dates.html
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4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition Guidelines
Photos by 4-H Alberta. Summer Synergy 2016 in Olds, Alberta