Animal Health Starts on the Farm - Transcript
Basic principles for protecting animal health on Canadian farms - Section 1: Access Management
The health of Canada’s livestock and poultry is a key factor in the success of Canadian agriculture at home and around the world.
To remain competitive in evolving and increasingly sophisticated markets, Canadian producers are on the lookout for ways to improve their operations—including animal health.
Most producers already use some biosecurity practices. Many are simple and cost very little. All biosecurity measures can help protect not only the economic viability and profitability of our livestock and poultry sectors, but also human and animal health, food safety, and the environment.
Animal biosecurity aims to keep diseases off farms, and prevent them from spreading. In fact, farm-level biosecurity is the best investment you can make to help keep your animals healthy and your business strong.
And because certain diseases can affect both animals and humans, biosecurity measures are important for protecting the health of your family and employees.
You can achieve effective biosecurity by using a series of straightforward measures that create a circle of defence on your farm.
Watch how these biosecurity measures apply when managing farm access, animal health and farm operations. Although many of the measures are common sense—and are likely already in place on your farm—it’s important to review them regularly.
Your veterinarian or animal health expert can help you assess the risks to your operation, and then plan and implement appropriate biosecurity measures.
An effective biosecurity plan begins with measures to control access to your farm by everyone who visits, from staff and visitors to delivery and service personnel.
The first measure is to designate distinct zones where varying levels of protection may be needed.
If possible, indicate your farm’s boundaries. You can do this by using fencing and clear and visible signage. It’s also a good idea to limit access to a single entrance.
Your veterinarian can advise you about establishing restricted and controlled access zones.
The restricted access zone is the area of greatest biosecurity risk.
It’s where the animals are located and where access should be limited to essential personnel.
The controlled-access biosecurity zone is the buffer that surrounds the restricted zone. It provides a first level of biosecurity. Access to the controlled zone is less restricted but it should still be limited to necessary personnel.
Clearly identify the boundaries to all zones with signs or markers. Also, ensure entry and exit points can be locked—by using gates or fences.
You should control movement into and between the designated zones.
Make sure there’s a specific location where vehicles can be cleaned or disinfected when entering or leaving a biosecure zone.
Set up a transition area at the entrance to each production unit. Make sure hand-washing facilities are available at each entrance and exit.
Visitors’ access to all zones must be controlled. A simple visitors’ log will help you keep track of everyone who has been on the premises.
Your animal health expert or veterinarian can help you identify hygiene requirements for visitors and employees. These requirements may include special footwear and clothing, and hand-washing for anyone entering and leaving barns and production units.
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