Farm biosecurity has become a hot topic recently and tackling this on your farm can seem quite daunting but luckily even doing the basics can help prevent an unwanted disease entering your farm. So, what is farm biosecurity? Farm biosecurity is essentially reducing the risk of bringing unwanted diseases, weeds or pests onto your farm If you haven’t thought about farm biosecurity, here are some tips to get you started.
- Personal hygiene – Anyone coming onto your farm should have clean boots and clothes/overalls. Make sure you provide clean water, bucket, scrub brush and disinfectant. Foot baths are an excellent idea but the disinfectant needs to be replaced daily. Remember that disinfection only works after the excess mud and muck has been removed.
- Purchasing new stock - You should know the vaccination status and animal health history, including any prior testing for diseases such as BVD, for all stock prior to purchase and if that cannot be provided by the seller or their agent then avoid “buying in a problem” and do not purchase that stock!
- Grazing stock off-farm – When your young stock are away they are at risk of picking up diseases and then bringing them back home. Prevention is the key here, so make sure they have all their required vaccinations and drenches prior to leaving your farm and ensure that the grazer completes any follow up vaccinations and drenches that are required.
- Boundary fences – Make sure you avoid nose to nose contact between your stock and the stock on your neighbour’s farm as this is a great way for diseases to be spread farm to farm. Double fencing your boundary (at least 2 meters apart) or hedges are good ways to prevent nose to nose contact.
- Farm equipment – Vehicles, equipment and farm machinery can potentially carry diseases or unwanted weeds and pests. These should be clean prior to arrival on your farm, particularly if they are going beyond the tanker track. If they aren’t clean, then provide an area where they can be washed down and ideally disinfected but ensure this water doesn’t go into your waterways or waste water irrigation system as this can spread unwanted weeds and diseases.
Good farming biosecurity practices will help lessen your risk of unwanted diseases, pests and weeds coming onto your farm. If you have any questions regarding farm biosecurity or you would like help to set up a plan, then contact your Anexa FVC Vet, we’re here to help.