Biosecurity for Animal Health
Dr. Clell V. Bagley, D.V.M.
USU Extension Veterinarian

Biosecurity is defined as "management practices that secure (protect) resident animals from the introduction of infectious agents harmful to animal health."

I would recommend that you establish a program to help protect your animals. You can't eliminate all risk but you can reduce it with some realistic procedures. With all the whackos on the loose, we are very likely to see something destructive to animals.

Over the past several months we have been working to implement stronger biosecurity safeguards at our farm facilities in the Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department at USU. In that process we have created several documents or guides. I have posted these on my animal health website and you are welcome to review or use them if they would be of help to you.

They are located at http://extension.usu.edu/coop/ag/livestoc/ah under Biosecurity Guides and Materials at USU. If you don't have internet access, contact your County Ag Agent and he can print them off for you.

It is a challenge for us to afford access for students, faculty and guests, but at the same time change from an 'open gate' policy to one of reasonable biosecurity. Our farm managers have been very cooperative and have tried to implement the specific plans developed. We still have a way to go, but it is a start.

Many of the larger dairy and feed lot operations are implementing similar procedures to help protect their animals. I would strongly encourage you to work with your veterinarian to develop a plan and changes in operation that would provide extra protection to your animals. You may have to change how you buy and bring in animals or who you allow to visit and walk through your animal facilities. This will have to be planned for each specific operation.

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