Biosecurity Planning Guide for Canadian Goat Producers
2 Recommended best practices

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In this section, there are a number of best practices for you to consider incorporating into your farm's biosecurity plan. The information provided aligns with section 2 of the Standard and will assist you in achieving the Target Outcomes.

2.1 Key area of concern 1: Sourcing and introducing animals

Target Outcome: Animal introductions and re-entry, and the use of semen and embryos do not present a risk to the health status of the herd.

2.1.1 Sources and sourcing

Producers can reduce the risk of introducing diseases onto their farms by controlling the way they source and introduce new animals and/or source artificial insemination and embryo transfer materials. Sourcing semen and embryos from accredited suppliers, limiting the frequency of animal additions, and controlling the number and quality of sources of new animals will reduce the risk.

  1. Raise as many replacement goats as possible on your farm, and only add new goats from off-farm sources when necessary.

    Do you have a closed herd?
    A closed herd is one which has no new animals enter and no animals leave (e.g., to shows) and then return. New genetics are introduced only through the use of artificial insemination or embryo transfer. Most goat herds are not closed but may occasionally source animals from outside the herd.

    • Ensure the reproductive efficiency of your current herd by optimizing fertility through breeding management programs for your does and breeding soundness examinations (BSEs) for your bucks. Adequate nutrition also plays an integral role.
    • eproductive technologies to introduce new genetics, such as artificial insemination (AI) or embryo transfer (ET), rather than purchasing animals from outside sources.
    • Know the biosecurity and animal health practices of all replacement animal suppliers. Ask the following questions:
      • What is the health status of their herd? (see section 2.1.3)
      • What biosecurity practices do
    • Adopt protocols to improve the survival rate of kids in your herd. This includes colostrum management, appropriate treatment of hypothermia and hypoglycemia, control of important infectious diseases (see Table 1) and appropriate housing. For meat goats, mothering of kids is also important.
  2. Consider using reproductive technologies to introduce new genetics, such as artificial insemination (AI) or embryo transfer (ET), rather than purchasing animals from outside sources.
  3. Know the biosecurity and animal health practices of all replacement animal suppliers. Ask the following questions:
    • What is the health status of their herd? (see section 2.1.3)
    • What biosecurity practices do they employ?
    • Do they commingle animals from different sources?
    • How do they transport their goats?
    • How does the health status of the source herd compare with that of my own herd?

    Case Study: "Sourcing New Stock"
    A producer wants new genetics in her herd, but lives in an isolated area. She finds a breeder (a 24 hour drive away) with a herd health status compatible with that of her own. The producer selects the young kids (two to three at a time) that she wishes to purchase from the breeder. She ships an empty cleaned and disinfected dog crate to the breeder. The breeder cleans and disinfects the crate, adds fresh bedding, puts the tagged kids into the crate and drives to the airport to ship the kids by air to the producer (a two and a half hour flight). The producer receives the kids on the other side, moves them into isolation, and cleans and disinfects the crate. The producer is buying young stock from a reputable breeder, avoiding commingling, and ensuring the safest and quickest mode of transport for the young animals.

  4. Purchase goats from suppliers with known health status and health status that is compatible with (equal to or higher than) your herd.
  5. Encourage breeders and sources of goats and kids to adopt biosecurity practices throughout their operations, and to make their disease-management and health-status records available to prospective purchasers, including their participation in the national Scrapie Certification Program for goats. Visit Scrapie Canada for more information.
  6. Plan ahead for additions so arrangements can be made with the chosen, reputable suppliers.

2.1.2 Biosecurity practices at fairs, shows and off-site loan locations

When fairs, shows and other off-site locations provide inadequate biosecurity for visiting goats, there are proactive measures that producers may implement to reduce the risks. These include transporting their animals in home-farm vehicles; bringing feed, water, water-delivery systems and other needed equipment from the home farm; applying biosecurity protocols at the off-site location; and treating returning goats as new arrivals. Producers should inquire about whether the fair or show has a biosecurity policy and a set of procedures to minimize the risk of disease transmission. With no policy in place, evaluating risks and having the capacity to minimize risk become part of the decision-making process when considering whether to attend the off-site event.

  1. Know the biosecurity practices at any fairs, shows or off-site loan locations before attending.
  2. Conduct a risk assessment for each off-site activity in which you plan to participate based on the nature of the activity, the biosecurity practices in use at the site, and your ability to implement additional biosecurity practices as needed.
  3. Attend only those fairs, shows and other off-site activities that are suitable based on your risk assessment and/or that have biosecurity programs that are suitable for your goats. It is recommended to:
    1. Ensure that a mandatory veterinary inspection of all goats attending the show is conducted prior to unloading, and that any goat with evidence of an infectious disease is not unloaded at the show;
    2. Ensure that goats that have recently kidded (i.e., within the last two weeks) or may kid at the time of the show are excluded from the show grounds due to risk of transmission of infectious abortion diseases;

      Case Study: "Biosecurity at Fall Fairs"
      A group of goat producers who like to show their goats have formed a biosecurity group and developed a set of recommendations for the fall fairs in their provinces, which host those shows. The document suggests that the fairs' committees institute the following recommendations: separated penning for each exhibitor's animals to prevent direct contact between goats of differing health status; minimal time at the show to reduce risk; veterinary inspection of all goats for evidence of infectious disease prior to unloading at the show; mandatory hand sanitization between handling of the goats (e.g., by the judge). Signage should also be posted, requesting that the public does not touch the goats, and hand-washing stations should be available for use by the public and exhibitors. As a result of the producers' lobbying, the fall fairs adopted these measures, thus reducing risk to the animals.

    3. Require that the fair board ensure the proper cleaning and disinfection of the available facilities prior to the goats' arrival; and
    4. Ask that signage be posted to indicate to the public that goats should not be handled in order to protect the health of the goats.
  4. Limit the time that your goats are at the off-site location.
  5. Transport your goats in a vehicle that has been cleaned and disinfected prior to use. Ideally, this vehicle is dedicated exclusively to your farm's use.
  6. Prevent commingling and direct contact and limit proximity with other goats and livestock in transit and on-site.
  7. Supply bedding and feed from your home farm.
  8. Ensure a clean supply of water on-site.
  9. Bring feeders, water buckets, and grooming and handling equipment from your home farm for exclusive use on your goats.
  10. Limit handling of your goats by others, but when it is necessary (e.g., for the judge's examination) require that handlers wash and/or sanitize their hands before contact with the animals and before handling the next animal.

2.1.3 Disease status at purchase or re-entry

Knowing the health status of new animals and animals that are re-entering the farm (e.g., animals attending livestock shows, borrowed or loaned goats) allows producers to implement biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of introducing and spreading disease to their existing herd.

  1. Obtain the following information from the vendor prior to purchase:
    1. the animal's health records, including diseases and treatment, the type and timing of vaccinations and other preventive health measures (e.g., deworming)
    2. the vendor's testing protocols for your diseases of concern
    3. the vendor's diagnoses of your diseases of concern
    4. the health management plan of the source herd
  2. Consider testing new or returning animals prior to introduction or re-introduction, in consultation with your herd veterinarian, when appropriate and specific to the diseases of concern for your herd. Tests used to determine disease status can include serology, culture, and fecal egg counts. Testing may also include a clinical examination by a veterinarian. In some cases, disease testing can be done prior to purchase but, in any case, the animal should remain in isolation until the test results are known. Have a plan for animals with positive test results; e.g., treat, do not buy.

    Testing for Disease
    Diagnostic testing for disease is very complicated and its accuracy depends on which disease is being tested for and on the goat's stage of infection. An accurate test means that an infected animal will always test positive, and an uninfected animal will always test negative. For some diseases of concern, there are no individual animal tests with sufficient accuracy that will entirely remove the risk of misclassifying a goat's disease status (i.e., deem an infected goat healthy) when purchasing a replacement animal. For this reason, the introduction of new or returning animals will always carry some risk of disease transmission. Please speak with your herd veterinarian about testing for the diseases of concern in your herd.

  3. Obtain all identification records and herd of origin information (if different from source herd).
  4. Follow protocols when purchasing semen or embryos. It is recommended to:
    1. Purchase semen from a donor buck collected in a CFIA-accredited semen production centre;
    2. Purchase semen from international sources only if it meets Canadian regulations; and
    3. Purchase and transfer embryos only from source animals with known and low-risk disease status.

2.1.4 Isolation upon arrival or re-entry

Isolating new or re-introduced animals for a sufficient time helps to identify animals with acute infections that are still in their incubation period, allowing for the shedding of infectious agents to cease, and to carry out testing and treatment. Some infectious agents may be difficult to detect within a normal isolation period.

  1. Designate an isolation area that is separated from other goats and livestock on the farm, with no opportunity for direct contact. The isolation area should be separated from the main herd by a solid partition and a secure door, or be located in a different building. The airspace should be separately ventilated to prevent transmission of airborne diseases, including caprine arthritis encephalitis virus and Coxiella burnetii (Q fever).
  2. Isolate all newly-acquired animals prior to introduction to your home herd for a period of time suitable for your diseases of concern, and:
    • monitor them for disease;
    • administer any required vaccines; and
    • implement an isolation protocol in consultation with your veterinarian for elimination of anthelmintic-resistant gastrointestinal nematode parasites.
  3. Ensure that there is no contact between people or equipment and the isolated animals without sanitation practices, including hand washing or use of dedicated disposable gloves, a full change of outerwear and cleaning and disinfection of any equipment, tools and footwear. This applies both upon entry into and exit from the isolation area.

    Using Gloves
    Gloves are only effective at limiting the transmission of disease if they are used correctly. When gloves are dirty, they are essentially the same as dirty hands. Gloves should be used only when handling one goat or group of goats within the same pen and be disposed of after each use. Hands should also be washed before and after using gloves.

  4. Prevent any sharing of feeding or watering equipment, penning, handling facilities or equipment— including milking equipment— between isolated goats and resident goats unless they are first cleaned and disinfected. This includes shared walkways (e.g., to the parlour and back).
  5. Clean and disinfect the isolation area regularly, including after each use. Design the area to facilitate cleaning and disinfection practices.

2.1.5 Protocols for releasing animals from isolation

Isolation will only be effective if there are protocols in place for releasing animals at the appropriate time.

  1. Observe no clinical signs of disease during the isolation period.
  2. Quickly attend to all animals showing signs of clinical disease. Test, treat and/or cull.
  3. Complete all disease testing, treatments, procedures and vaccinations before goats are released from isolation.

2.2 Key area of concern 2: Animal health

Target Outcome: Animal health, well-being, and productivity will be optimized through proper implementation of herd health programs.

2.2.1 Implement a herd health management program

A herd health management program identifies the key components required for appropriate disease prevention, control, and treatment for each farm. The herd veterinarian is a key partner for determining the specific risks to the herd and then designing and implementing the herd health management program.

Health management refers to those procedures that are followed to prevent and control disease and optimize health and performance. Most goat producers have a herd health management program that they follow to maintain the health of their goats, including guidance on vaccinations and other preventive measures and disease identification and management. Often, these programs have been prepared with the assistance of a veterinarian and/or input from other specialists and advisors.

Table 2: Components of a Herd Health Management Program
Table 2 provides reference information to evaluate your herd health management program for completeness. The recommended components of the program are highlighted with some key details.

Table 2: Components of a Herd Health Management Program
Component Details
Herd health visits Schedule visits and communicate with the herd veterinarian regularly
Review herd health programs frequently, depending on the health status of the herd
Monitoring health Record disease and health events
Analyze records to detect health issues that require action
Test for disease (e.g., fecal egg counts, necropsy of kid mortalities)
Nutritional health management Complete a routine assessment of body condition to detect nutritional issues that will affect health and productivity
Provide adequate vitamin and mineral nutrition with specific attention to iodine, selenium and vitamin E
Conduct feed analysis and water testing
Reproduction program Establish a breeding schedule
Complete ultrasound examinations for pregnancy
Plan lighting and/or hormonal strategies for out-of-season breeding
Conduct a buck breeding soundness examination
Udder health Perform udder preparation and teat dipping
Monitor for evidence of mastitis
Establish a milking order
Ensure adequate management of dry does
The periparturient period Disinfect navels with a suitable product
Heat treat colostrum to 56 degrees Celsius for 1 hour prior to administration
Ensure appropriate colostrum intake; If hand feeding, the first feeding should ideally occur within the first hour (50 ml/kg of body weight 4 times (every 6 hours) in first 24 hours of life)
Pasteurize milk for kids
Attend to dystocias and any evidence of illness in the periparturient period such as pregnancy toxaemia and milk fever
Kid rearing Investigate kid mortality
Be aware of the diseases of concern for kids, including coccidiosis, pneumonia, hypothermia and hypoglycemia, neonatal diarrhea, pulpy kidney, and orf/soremouth
Disbudding and castration Perform with suitable timing and technique and with concern for animal welfare
Consider vaccinating for clostridial diseases, especially tetanus, before the procedures
Vaccination programs Establish an appropriate regime for each age and/or production group of animals that is specific to your farm and diseases of concern; include clostridial diseases (e.g., tetanus, pulpy kidney / enterotoxaemia – primary series and annual vaccinations)
Parasite control program Set up a gastrointestinal parasite control program that manages pasture contamination, uses anthelmintics appropriately, and monitors animals for internal parasites
Treat animals selectively
Isolate and treat new introductions
Investigate treatment failure
Control external parasites
Disease control programs Implement specific disease control programs, if required, to control and eradicate an infectious disease; examples are CAE, infectious abortion, CLA and gastrointestinal parasites
Use tools such as disease testing, including necropsy of dead or dying animals, biosecurity, vaccinations and management changes
Treatment protocols for sick goats Apply an isolation procedure for sick animals
Follow SOPs written in consultation with the herd veterinarian to manage simple disease conditions
Prepare meat and milk withdrawal times in consultation with herd veterinarian and CgFARAD, since there are no licensed veterinary drugs for goats in Canada
Euthanasia Use appropriate handling and restraint, as per the standards of the World Organisation for Animal Health and welfare Codes of Practice
Complete with a method that complies with CFIA humane destruction recommendations
Federal and provincial disease monitoring programs Participate in the Voluntary National Scrapie Program, which at the time of preparation of the Standard and the Guide, was the only program of its type
Disease / emergency response plan Employ enhanced biosecurity practices when a disease outbreak is suspected or confirmed on your farm or in your area
Contact a federal veterinarian in the event of a suspected reportable disease

Your herd health management plan will provide important information as you develop and implement a biosecurity plan on your farm. The plans complement each other to proactively reduce the risk of diseases entering and spreading within your farm. Effective biosecurity implementation may also support your disease response plan.

If you have other livestock on your farm, consider developing herd health management programs for the other species as well, with particular attention to addressing disease and health risks that are shared among the species on your farm.

2.2.2 Observe and evaluate the health of animals

Regular observation of the goats for any change in health status is conducted on a daily basis, and the findings are recorded. Trigger points exist to help direct further action and to allow a rapid response to potential disease.

  1. Walk through your herd at least once each day. Attention should be paid to:
    1. attitude and behaviour
    2. gait
    3. body condition and rumen fill
    4. interaction with other herd mates, including dam with kid(s)
    5. any clinical signs of disease; e.g., diarrhea, depression, abortion, lameness, abnormal discharges
  2. Record observations from these walk-throughs, including:
    • significant deviations from normal behaviour in individual goats and in the herd, and
    • changes in appetite and/or milk production of individual goats
  3. Establish a set of trigger points. Trigger points are observations which, when noted, lead to further action (e.g., percentage of drop in milk production, cluster of abortions, blister around an animal's mouth or hoof).
  4. Move any animal that is exhibiting clinical signs of disease or is of unknown health status to an isolation area. These animals should be isolated separately from any new additions or returning animals. See section 2.1.4 for more information on designing an isolation area.
  5. Contact your herd veterinarian for assistance with further examination, diagnostic testing and treatment, if required.
  6. Have a hospital pen for sick animals. This area separates sick animals from the rest of the herd, and facilitates treatment and ongoing monitoring. The principles of designing and maintaining a hospital pen are similar to those that apply to an isolation area (see section 2.1.4).
  7. In consultation with your herd veterinarian, develop and use drug treatment protocols and follow the instructions properly. Document all treatments that are applied and their outcomes in the herd record.

2.2.3 Implement herd health management protocols

To guide the effective implementation of the herd health management program, a plan is in place outlining the schedule of tasks, as well as the assignment of roles and responsibilities for farm workers. Records are maintained to document the progress and completion of each component.

  1. Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the implementation of all elements in the herd health management program (see section 2.2.1 and Appendix A: Writing a standard operating procedure).
  2. Prepare a schedule for herd health management activities, including daily, weekly, monthly and yearly tasks.
  3. Assign roles and responsibilities for all staff. Review the protocols with all farm workers regularly and provide training as required (see section 2.6).
  4. Plan in advance for any activities that require outside assistance.
  5. Record all activities associated with the herd health management program (see section 2.5).

2.2.4 Recognize susceptibility and maintain separation

To prevent the spread of disease within the population of goats on a premises, animals are grouped, based on their current health status and level of immunity, and are managed accordingly. To limit the risk of exposure to disease, the sequencing of all activities is considered.

  1. Determine the relative susceptibility to infection of goats on the basis of age, immune status, and production status. For example:
    1. younger animals are more naïve (i.e., have no immunity) than older animals;
    2. animals in late pregnancy and early lactation, and animals that have been moved or stressed in another way may be more immune-compromised and therefore susceptible to disease;
    3. the health status and previous exposure to disease of new animals may be different than that of the resident animals in your herd. The animals with less exposure and those with compromised health may be more susceptible to disease; and
    4. sick animals are more susceptible than healthy animals.
  2. Avoid placing animals of differing susceptibility or immune status in adjacent pens or the same pasture.
  3. Handle goats in order of susceptibility, from most susceptible to least.
  4. Move goats in order of susceptibility, from most susceptible to least.
  5. Milk goats in order of susceptibility, from most susceptible to least. Milk goats known to be shedding S. aureus last.
  6. Apply these principles to the use of equipment and tools (see section 2.4.5).

    Case Study: Infection Cycle of Johne's Disease
    A female kid is born into a herd in which one doe is infected with Johne's disease. Although the kid's dam is not infected, the infected doe purchased the year before is shedding the Johne's bacteria in its manure. The manure has contaminated the bedding and the kid's dam has laid on the dirty bedding so that the bacteria are now contaminating the teats. When the kid first nurses, it consumes colostrum containing the bacteria. During its early life, it again inadvertently ingests bacteria from the teats, bedding, and feed contaminated from goats putting their dirty feet in the feeders. By the time the kid is 3 months of age, it is infected with Johne's, and by the time it is 12 months of age it is shedding Johne's bacteria in its manure. It gives birth at 18 months of age and its own kids become infected from bacteria shed in the milk and manure. At 2 years of age, this animal is showing clinical signs of wasting and is culled to slaughter by the time it is 25 months of age. During the doe's short life, the bacteria shed in its manure and milk has managed to infect another 15 kids.
    The producer now wants to focus on eradicating this disease from the farm. With the assistance of the herd veterinarian, a comprehensive program has been developed for the herd. One component of this program is a separate area for kid rearing to prevent exposure to manure from adult goats. This area has dedicated feeders, waterers and equipment. Staff start their daily activities in this area. If they need to return after contact with other animals, they are required to change their clothing and footwear and wash their hands before handling the kids.

  7. If possible, avoid using community pastures, as they present elevated risk of disease transmission. If community pastures are part of your farm management plan, it is recommended to:
    1. determine whether the health status of other herds using the pastures is compatible with your own;
    2. limit the time spent on community pastures;
    3. have an agreement with other members to communicate any changes in health status.

2.2.5 Optimize nutrition and the use of vaccines and other biologics

Nutrition and vaccination plans are in place that address the specific needs of the herd and contribute to enhanced immunity and herd health.

  1. Develop a nutrition plan for each production stage. Consult with a nutritionist, as needed.
  2. Analyze forages routinely post-harvest to determine whether they are of sufficient quality and nutritional value.
  3. Evaluate the total mixed ration (TMR) for particle size and overall nutrients. Use the analysis to validate that the custom supplement is formulated correctly.
  4. Conduct regular evaluation of body condition to assess whether the nutritional needs of the goats are being adequately met. This is especially important during peak times of the production cycle. More information is available through Langston University.
  5. Walk all areas of the farm that could be accessible to the herd and identify and eradicate any plants that are potentially toxic to goats. Potentially toxic plants include:

    More information on toxic plants, including a comprehensive image library, is available through Cornell University. If you suspect your goats may have been exposed to a toxic plant, contact your herd veterinarian for additional guidance.

  6. Ensure newborns receive a sufficient volume of good quality colostrum shortly after birth. If hand feeding, 5% of body weight soon after birth (50 ml per kilogram or 1 ounce per pound of body weight) and 20% of body weight within the first 24 hours of life is recommended; the first feeding should occur within 4 hours of birth.
  7. Heat treat colostrum to reduce risk of transmission of some infectious agents (e.g., caprine arthritis encephalitis virus) to newborns. This involves heating the product for 1 hour at 56 degrees Celsius. Temperature control is important, as overheating the product can damage the quality of the colostrum, but underheating will not destroy any potential infectious agents.
  8. Ensure kids are receiving adequate quantities of milk. Use only clean (i.e., not from a sick animal) pasteurized milk or good quality goat milk replacer. If hand-feeding, make sure feeding equipment is routinely cleaned and disinfected between uses.
  9. Consider vaccination for the following diseases if they are diseases of concern in your herd:
    • Clostridial diseases (e.g., Clostridium perfringens type D or pulpy kidney/enterotoxemia; Clostridium tetani or tetanus; and others)
    • Caseous lymphadenitis (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis)
    • Chlamydial abortion (Chlamydophila abortus)
    • Q fever (Coxiella burnetii)
    • Rabies, especially in endemic, high-prevalence areas

    Vaccines for Goats:
    In Canada, no vaccines are approved for use in goats. All vaccines should be administered under the advice and guidance of a veterinarian. Vaccines that are safe in other livestock have been known to cause illness in goats. Vaccines administered to pregnant goats have been known to be associated with an adverse reaction.

  10. Ensure proper administration of vaccinations. This includes appropriate timing of the vaccination during an animal's lifetime and the required boosters. To maximize herd immunity, it is necessary to adhere to the vaccination protocol.

2.2.6 Control movement of animals within the production area

When animals are moved within the production area, the movement is planned in advance to reduce the risk of disease exposure and spread to susceptible animals.

Animals should remain with individuals of the same age and health status within the production cycle, and the group should be moved as a unit (e.g., nursing kids are weaned at the same time and moved as a group). When moving to a new location in the barn, they should move as a group following the principle of all-in, all-out movement. With all-in, all-out movement, all the animals within common-risk groupings are moved together from location to location. This ensures that animals of similar health status and disease susceptibility stay together and are not exposed to animals that may be a potential disease risk. It also creates the opportunity for appropriate premises management practices to occur prior to entry to or after exit from a specific area.

To limit the risk of disease transmission among goats in your herd when moving through your farm facility and along its pathways for routine activities (e.g., to a handling area, to the milking parlour and back), consider the following:

  • Study and identify pathways and routes according to their relative risks to healthy animals (see section 1.4).
  • Avoid routes and pathways that take healthy goats past or adjacent to sick or isolated goats of unknown health status and vice versa.
  • Plan movement in the following sequence: from young to older stock, from healthy to sick, and from higher to lower risk of infection.

2.2.7 Manage feed, water and bedding

Management practices are in place to ensure that feed, water, and bedding are of sufficient quantity and quality, and are free from any potential contamination.

Feed

  1. Purchase feed from suppliers who produce quality feeds that are labelled and comply with regulations for feed designated for ruminant feeding. Ensure that it is transported in a clean carrier.
  2. Test the product and supplement the ration, as required, to ensure optimal production and good health among your herd (see section 2.2.5).
  3. Take feed and forage samples from each batch. Label and store them to allow testing at a later date for quality and for the presence or absence of toxins, if necessary.
  4. Store feed in a secure, clean facility that limits degradation of feed and prevents access by wildlife, rodents, pests, dogs and cats; when spoiled feed is discovered, remove the feed and address the cause of the degradation and/or contamination.
  5. Design and position feeders to prevent fecal and other contamination by goats while in use. If feeders become contaminated, remove and dispose of the feed, and then clean and disinfect the feeders before use.

Water

  1. Ensure that water provided to the herd is safe for livestock consumption. Ideally, the water should be from a municipal or well source and not an open water source, such as a pond.
  2. Test water at the source at least annually to ensure it is safe for livestock consumption. Guidelines are available through the following links:
  3. Design and position water bowls, troughs and other waterers to prevent fecal and other contamination by goats while in use.
  4. Dispose of contaminated water when found and clean and disinfect the waterer(s) before the next use.
  5. Discuss the implications of any change in water source with your herd veterinarian or other advisor prior to the change (e.g., from well to municipal source and, in some cases, from dug to bored well).

Bedding

  1. Purchase bedding from a reputable supplier.
  2. Ensure that bedding is delivered in a clean, uncontaminated condition and is stored in a manner that preserves its condition for use.
  3. Remove and replace soiled bedding regularly. The frequency should be based on a risk assessment of the pens and housing facilities used by your herd. Consider factors such as the density of animals, the level of contamination and the disease status of the animals. Add clean straw or bedding regularly when using dry pack bedding.
  4. Remove bedding from hospital and isolation pens and replace on a daily basis or more often, if required; move it to an area that does not have animal access.

2.3 Key area of concern 3: Facility management and access controls

Target Outcome: Management of farm access, facilities, and identified risk areas limits disease introduction and spread on-farm and enables the implementation of biosecurity practices.

2.3.1 Zoning and facility design

Farm facilities are zoned and identified risk areas are determined so that animals, people, and vehicles can move around the farm without unnecessary contact with the herd, and apply the appropriate biosecurity practices.

  1. Follow the process described in Create a farm map and identify risk areas (section 1.4) and prepare a set of drawings of your farm and your barn area(s); decide where your CAZ and RAZ will be and include them in your biosecurity plan.
  2. Using the diagram of the barn and confinement areas, document specific pens, work areas and pathways that are of high risk and note the activities and movements that make them high risk.
  3. Decide where changes in pen allocations and modifications to the goat movement pathways could be made to reduce the higher-risk situations.
  4. Decide where cleaning and disinfection of instruments, tools and equipment can be done and where dedicated instruments, tools and equipment should be considered.
  5. Identify controlled access points (CAPs) between areas of differing risk where biosecurity practices need to be followed, especially with respect to cleaning and disinfection of instruments, tools and equipment, hand washing, changes of clothing and footwear, and other practices.
  6. Mark locations where physical barriers and/or signage are needed to ensure that unintended access to higher-risk areas is limited.
  7. Prepare and locate signage:
    • indicate high security areas
    • identify areas not to be used as pathways or for access
    • outline movement for pathways
    • consider colour coding for different areas and risks

2.3.2 Perimeter and interior fencing

Fencing is used to maintain separation between goats and other animals on the farm, and between the herd and livestock on adjacent farms. Fencing also serves to separate certain goats from the rest of the herd under pre-planned circumstances.

  1. Install and maintain perimeter fencing to ensure that goats are not released into uncontrolled areas (outside the CAZ) and to restrict interaction with wildlife.
  2. Install and maintain interior fencing that is appropriate for its biosecurity purpose. For example, when pasturing animals of differing health status in adjoining pastures, consider a buffer zone between the pastures.

2.3.3 Cleaning and disinfection of facilities and on-farm equipment

Cleaning and disinfection is conducted prior to and after use, as well as in the routine maintenance of equipment and facilities. It is focused on the facilities that house the herd, and the tools, and equipment used to manage the herd and handle individual goats.

Ideally, facility surfaces, tools, equipment and vehicles are cleaned and, when required, disinfected, on a schedule determined by a risk assessment process carried out in advance.

Table 3: Five-step Cleaning and Disinfection Process
The five steps in the cleaning and disinfection process are explained in the table. When possible, these steps should be followed.

1. De-bulk: Remove all visible contamination from surfaces of your facilities, tools, equipment and vehicles. This typically involves using a combination of machinery, shovels, brooms and water.

2. Wash: When the area looks clean, it should be washed using a soap or detergent. This should include physical scrubbing; for facility surfaces, tools, equipment and vehicles, use brushes or a pressure washer.

3. Rinse: After washing, all soap and residue should be removed by thorough rinsing.

4. Disinfect: For facilities, tools, equipment and vehicles, the area should be soaked with an approved disinfectant that is appropriate for the infectious agents you are targeting. The disinfectant should be made at the correct concentration and left on the area to be disinfected for the prescribed length of time.

5. Rinse: When required, all traces of the disinfectant should be rinsed away and the area left to dry.

Meat goat farms, and others who might be concerned about the biosecurity risk in pasture areas, can employ a downtime cycle between uses that is long enough to allow infectious agents to be reduced by natural causes.

Choosing a disinfectant can be a complex process. All disinfectants have strengths and weaknesses. When choosing a disinfectant, consider the following to determine if it is appropriate for the intended use:

  • what organisms it is effective against (i.e., what type of bacteria, fungi, viruses, coccidial oocysts, protozoa, will it kill ["-cidal"] or inhibit ["-static"]?)
  • surfaces and materials on which it can be used
  • activity in water of different temperatures or mineral contents
  • compatibility with other disinfectants and soaps
  • contact time
  • animal safety, including use on feeding equipment or watering systems
  • human safety
  • residual activity
  • environmental impact, including method of disposal

Consult your herd veterinarian or industry representative for recommendations. Always follow the manufacturer's directions and respect the product expiry date.

Equipment:
Ideally, equipment is designated to specific areas of common risk, such as the isolation area or milking parlour, and is not used in other areas of the operation; or it is designated to certain tasks, such as a loader bucket for handling manure and/or buckets, forks and shovels for bedding and feed, and is not used for other purposes. This simplifies the cleaning and disinfection process by ensuring that contamination does not occur. When it is not possible to separate equipment by risk zones or activity, you can:

  1. Create a SOP for cleaning and disinfection, specifying when (how frequently, or after which uses) and how (by what methods and using what equipment) it is done. The default plan would be to clean and disinfect, using the five-step process described above, between each use and different uses.
  2. Ensure that those responsible for cleaning and disinfection know what type of soap or detergent and disinfectant solutions are required for each task and how they work, including contact time and recommended rinsing and drying requirements for maximum effectiveness.
  3. Clean and disinfect feeders and waterers regularly, based on use and experience, and whenever contamination with manure, urine and/or other potentially-contaminated materials occurs, and whenever they are being prepared for use by other goats of differing health status.
  4. Store equipment that has been cleaned and disinfected in a clean environment.

Facility:

  1. Set an appropriate interval for cleaning. For example, cleaning and disinfection should be completed before or after a significant management event such as milking, clipping or shearing, removal of manure and/or bedding.
  2. Regularly scrape and clean pathways used by goats, depending on frequency of use, and disinfect based on a risk assessment. For example, pathways should be fully cleaned and, where possible, disinfected when used by goats of different disease status and/or susceptibility that pose a risk of disease transmission. Pathways that are in regular use should be cleared of manure and other debris at a frequency that prevents build-up of these materials and subsequent spread by the animals around the facility and to their pens and other housing areas.
  3. Pay special attention to milking parlours and holding areas. Milk goats in groups according to disease status and risk. Milk lower-risk goats first (e.g., first fresheners, goats which have undergone disease testing) and higher-risk goats last. After milking, equipment, stands, stanchions, holding areas, and alleyways should be cleaned and disinfected. Water bowls and feeders present in the parlour should also be cleaned and, where appropriate, disinfected. In some provinces, standards have been established for cleaning milking equipment. Consult your provincial government and follow the provincial recommendations.
  4. Clean and, where possible, disinfect pens and other containment areas based on use and a risk assessment. Pens and areas should be cleaned and disinfected whenever deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas are discovered, and after each use for identified risk areas including the isolation areas, kidding areas and hospital pen. Some other considerations that will influence your risk management decisions to disinfect are the density of animals, level of contamination, and health status of animals.
  5. Ensure complete removal of visible organic material before disinfection.

Vehicles:

  1. Restrict access of off-farm vehicles. Vehicles that travel from farm to farm should not enter the CAZ unless they have been cleaned and disinfected. Animal transportation vehicles should be loaded and unloaded at the periphery of the CAZ and animals can then be led to the isolation area (see section 1.4). Feed trucks and milk trucks should also be unloaded or loaded without entering the CAZ. In all these cases, the perimeter of the CAZ can be designed to provide a controlled access point for each of these purposes so that efficient operation can be maintained. These controlled access points should be managed in such a way that any contamination that may be present on the undercarriage or exterior of the vehicle will not be deposited in the CAZ.
  2. Clean and disinfect the interior of the trailers or boxes of vehicles used to transport animals. Animal transportation vehicles that travel from farm to farm should be cleaned and disinfected before their arrival. Livestock vehicles that have not been cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival contain high-risk bedding and manure. Determine their previous use(s), inspect the trailers or boxes and, based on a risk assessment, accept or refuse their use for animal transport.
  3. Ensure that trailers or boxes that are used to transport feed or silage have not been used for any purpose that presents a biosecurity risk to your herd and that they have been suitably cleaned before use. Inspect the trailers or boxes upon arrival and, based on a risk assessment, accept or refuse the shipment.

2.3.4 Facility maintenance

Well-maintained facilities are less likely to harbour potentially infected material, are more easily cleaned, and are less accessible to rodents and other pests.

  1. Keep walls, ceilings and floors in good repair so that access by pests and rodents is limited, build-up of organic material is reduced, and cleaning can be completed more effectively.
  2. Keep a notebook handy to record where repairs are required, so that they can be scheduled and completed in a timely manner.
  3. Use non-porous materials and face or cover them with smooth materials when building, remodelling, repairing and/or resurfacing any facilities. These surfaces reduce the build-up of organic material in areas accessible to goats, and can be cleaned more effectively.
  4. Ensure that there are no hanging electrical wires or loose wall panels anywhere in the production area that goats can bite or chew.
  5. Maintain windows and screens in good repair to restrict access by pests and rodents, and ensure a well-lit environment in barns and other facilities.
  6. Ensure that ventilation shafts are not obstructed and/or plugged.
  7. Consider biosecurity when renovating existing facilities or designing a new facility.

2.3.5 Management of deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas

The herd does not have contact with deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas. Deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas are high disease-contamination risks for many common infectious diseases.

  1. Remove deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas immediately from contact with the herd and with working/guardian animals, wildlife, other predators, pests, cats and dogs.
  2. Consider a post-mortem or submission of tissue samples to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory to investigate the cause of death. Discuss the options with your herd veterinarian.
  3. Ensure that disposal methods comply with municipal and provincial regulations.
  4. When a disposal service is used, prior to pick-up, secure deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas in a holding unit or area away from the active production area.
  5. Prevent access to onsite disposal of deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas by the herd, other livestock on the premises, guardian animals, cats and dogs.
  6. Cover deadstock, aborted fetuses and placentas with a suitable material (e.g., shavings) to minimize access by flies.

2.3.6 Management of manure

Herd contact with manure is minimized. Manure is a high disease-contamination risk for most common diseases.

  1. Remove manure on a regular schedule, based on risk and the frequency of use of the pathways, pens and other housing areas:
    • Take care not to contaminate goats of differing disease status with manure being moved
    • Clean up spills immediately
  2. Move manure directly to a secure storage facility away from the active production area. Design the manure storage facility to eliminate runoff of urine and/or other fluids into the production area.
  3. Ensure that disposal and storage methods, at a minimum, adhere to municipal and provincial regulations.
  4. Clean and disinfect equipment used to collect and move manure after use and, if possible, dedicate it to that purpose.
  5. Spread manure on pasture only when it is properly composted. Ensure a sufficient period of time between manure spread and use by pasturing goats and/or other livestock.

2.3.7 Management of pests, wildlife and dogs and cats

Pests, wildlife, dogs and cats are excluded from the production area(s) whenever possible. They may be a high-risk source of contamination for certain common diseases.

Table 4: Management of Pests, Wildlife, Dogs and Cats
This table describes the risks associated with pests, wildlife, dogs and cats and provides some recommendations to reduce the associated disease transmission risks.

Table 4: Management of Pests, Wildlife, Dogs and Cats
Agent Nature of Risk Proactive Tactics
Pests (e.g., rodents, flies, other insects

Direct transmission of disease

Mechanical transmission following contact with animals, manure, placentas and other infectious material

Indirect transmission through contamination of feed, water or bedding

Use pest control programs; follow manufacturers' recommendations if using a chemical product

Maintain facilities to limit access, including screening over vents and openings in barns and other buildings

Store feed and bedding in a secure location.

NOTE: Prevent goats' access to rodenticides, pesticides and other control substances

Cats and dogs (pets and working animals)

Direct transmission of disease (e.g. rabies, some tapeworms, Coxiella burnetii)

Indirect transmission of disease by contamination of feed, water and bedding (e.g. toxoplasmosis)

Prevent contact with herd whenever possible (unless guardian animal)
Vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies

De-worm dogs with a veterinary-approved product to eliminate tapeworms
Spay adult cats

Store feed and bedding in secure location
Remove cat and dog feces immediately; dispose of any feed and water contaminated by feces and clean and disinfect feeders and waterers

If goat meat or offal is to be fed to dogs, cook thoroughly or freeze for one week prior to feeding to eliminate tapeworm cysts

Predators

Direct transmission of disease (e.g., rabies)

Investigate all attacks to determine predator type

Use guardian animals

Use predator repellents

Install and maintain perimeter fencing

Consider vaccinating the herd against rabies

Consult Wild Predator Loss Prevention Program

Wildlife (including birds)

Direct transmission of disease (e.g., rabies)

Indirect transmission of disease through contamination of pastures, feed or water (e.g., leptospirosis)

Use guardian animals

Maintain facilities to limit access including screening over vents and other openings in barns and other buildings and blocking rafters

Consider vaccinating the herd against rabies

Respect any conservation regulations concerning the protection of endangered or threatened species; check with your local authorities

2.4 Key area of concern 4: Movement of people, vehicles and equipment

Target Outcome: Movement and activities of workers, visitors, and service providers, and their vehicles and equipment do not compromise animal and human health.

2.4.1 Access management for farm employees

Farm workers should understand the biosecurity practices that pertain to working on the farm. They are aware and comply with any changes to the biosecurity plan and practices.

  1. Ensure that all farm workers are aware of the biosecurity practices on your farm and are prepared to implement them.
  2. Designate a parking area for farm workers. Require them to sign in using an attendance record or the farm's log book.
  3. Review your daily work plan upon arrival and discuss all biosecurity practices and any materials that will be needed. Discuss problem areas and any special or additional practices that will need to be followed.
  4. Schedule regular training sessions for all farm employees and confirm their understanding of the practices. Carry out additional training sessions if a practice changes or if a new biosecurity practice is added to the farm plan.

2.4.2 Access management for visitors and service providers

Visitors and service providers access only areas of the farm that are necessary. They are aware in advance of the biosecurity practices that will apply prior to their visit and come prepared.

  1. Prepare and post signage at the farm gate and at the entrance to the CAZ, notifying service providers and visitors that your farm follows a biosecurity plan. Provide a name and number for them to contact upon arrival for further instruction.
  2. Post protocols describing the biosecurity practices that are required in each zone and identified risk area.
  3. Plan all farm visits in advance. Ensure that you and the service provider or visitor both understand and agree to the schedule and biosecurity requirements for the visit.
  4. Complete a risk assessment for each person planning to visit the farm and enter the production area. Use the following questions as part of your risk assessment:
    1. Have they visited other farms before arriving at yours?
    2. Did they interact with goats or other livestock when there?
    3. Which areas of your farm do they need to access?
    4. What is the extent of their interaction with your goats while on your farm?
  5. Ensure that you and all employees are aware of the arrival of all service providers and visitors.
  6. Meet all farm visitors outside the CAZ when they arrive and record their visit in your visitors' log (see Appendix B: Sample visitor log). Discuss the layout of your farm, which areas they are permitted to access, and what biosecurity practices need to be applied in that location.
  7. Outline the restricted areas that the service provider or visitor cannot access.
  8. Permit contact with animals only when necessary.
  9. Explain the location and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and how to put it on and remove it (see section 2.4.3).
  10. Provide garbage cans with sealable lids at controlled access points and elsewhere around your farm and ensure that service providers and visitors use them to discard disposable gloves, boot covers, and any potentially-contaminated materials.

2.4.3 Clothing and footwear

Everyone who enters, and works on or visits, the farm wears farm-specific clothing and footwear. Clothing and footwear will be changed when moving between farm zones and when entering identified risk areas of the premises.

  1. Require that all farm workers have appropriate, clean, farm-specific outerwear and footwear and that they wear them whenever they enter the CAZ.
  2. Request that all service providers and visitors bring clean and appropriate outerwear and footwear for use while on your farm and that they wear them when crossing into the CAZ.
  3. Provide clean clothing and footwear or suitable disposable clothing and footwear for farm workers, service providers and visitors who need to enter the RAZ and/or work in the identified risk areas.
  4. Maintain an extra supply of clean outerwear and footwear and/or disposable outerwear and footwear for use by farm workers, service suppliers and visitors when necessary (i.e., their own attire gets soiled, or they do not bring sufficient clothing for the visit).
  5. Post protocols to explain the use of protective clothing, footwear and gloves at each point of entry to the CAZ, transition point between the zones and identified risk area.

2.4.4 Hand washing and personal protective equipment

All who enter and work on, or visit the farm wash and/or sanitize their hands upon entry and exit, when moving between farm zones, and when approaching or leaving certain identified risk areas of the premises. The appropriate personal protective equipment is used for each activity.

  1. Prepare and post a protocol that explains the proper method for hand washing on your farm. It should include all of the following steps:
    • wet hands with warm water;
    • apply a liquid or foam soap;
    • vigorously lather for a minimum of 15 seconds, taking care to remove all visible organic matter;
    • thoroughly rinse using a rubbing motion;
    • blot dry with a paper towel;
    • use the paper towel to turn the tap off to prevent recontamination.
    If water is not available for hand washing, use of a hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) is acceptable. It is important to note that sanitizers are effective only if there is no visible contamination. Therefore, prior to applying a sanitizer, a single-use, moist towelette should be available to remove any organic debris on hands, if necessary.

    Contact your local public health unit for additional resources on hand washing.
  2. Require hand washing or sanitization and the use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) upon entry into and exit from the CAZ, RAZ and identified risk areas. Hands should also be washed or sanitized before and after any contact with goats, especially those that are diseased or of unknown health status.
  3. Require hand washing following contact with any potentially-contaminated material, such as deadstock, aborted fetuses, placentas or manure.
  4. Provide hand washing stations at the entry point to the CAZ and the RAZ and each identified risk area. If water is unavailable, provide an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60%) and a supply of single-use, moist towelettes at these locations.
  5. Provide disposable gloves for use by all visitors who will come in contact with your goats and with potentially infectious materials and surfaces. As previously mentioned, gloves should be single-use and do not replace hand washing.
  6. Provide N95 fitted masks for family members, farm workers, service providers and visitors for use when dealing with high-risk materials (e.g., aborted fetuses, placentas, deadstock and manure) and when an aerosol-transmitted zoonotic disease (e.g., Q fever) is possibly present on your farm.
  7. Be aware of all workplace safety regulations for your staff and ensure they are followed.

Case Study:
Using hand washing and personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of Q-fever transmission

A dairy goat operation is experiencing some abortions in the yearling doelings purchased last month. The owner contacts the veterinarian regarding this issue. The veterinarian arrives wearing newly donned coveralls, and he disinfected his hands and boots. He is greeted by the owner and her young daughter. She indicates that the kidding doelings are in a separate wing of the barn, isolated from the main herd. The veterinarian identifies an opportunity to set up an identified risk area which may limit the spread of the infection. He also informs the owner of the zoonotic risks associated with infectious abortion diseases (e.g., Chlamydophila or Q fever). He advises that the daughter should stay out of the barn while the abortions are occurring.

The owner had previously obtained personal protective equipment (PPE) in case of an outbreak of an infectious disease, including plastic boots, gloves and coveralls, as well as N95 fitted masks to prevent inhalation of the abortion agent, which may cause illness. The owner and the veterinarian choose to use the outside entrance to prevent having to return through the main barn. She and the veterinarian change into the PPE, leaving outer clothing outside the door. The veterinarian takes samples of the aborted fetuses and placentas, and the remaining tissues are placed into a green plastic bag and secured. The veterinarian sets up a protocol to deal with the outbreak and a plan to prevent the spread of the disease agent. He tells the owner, "it is fortunate that you kept these doelings isolated from your main herd."

When leaving the wing, the PPE is removed and placed into a plastic bag either for disposal (masks, gloves, plastic boots) or laundering (coveralls). The aborted materials are placed into a sealed garbage container used for small deadstock management. Hands and arms are then washed using the disinfectant soap. The samples for the diagnostic laboratory are placed inside another bag to prevent contamination of the truck. The owner decides that the most prudent action is to place a "No Entry" biosecurity sign on both doors. She also posts a sign on the outer door outlining the protocol for putting on and removing the PPE. Because of these precautions, the infection did not spread and she and her family remain healthy.

2.4.5 Movement control of equipment and tools and vehicles

In identified risk areas or for high-risk activities, the farm's equipment, tools and vehicles are dedicated to one activity or area. The farm's service equipment, tools and vehicles are cleaned and disinfected between uses. Equipment, tools and vehicles that are brought onto the farm are moved into a control area only if necessary. Service equipment, tools and vehicles that are brought onto the farm are cleaned and disinfected before arrival and, if they are used, they are cleaned and disinfected between uses.

  1. Ideally, purchase and use a dedicated set of equipment (shovels, forks, scrapers, buckets, etc.) for use in each of the following areas:
    • isolation area for new arrivals or returning animals
    • isolation areas for sick animals
    • kidding pens
    and for the goat facilities outside those areas, to perform each of the following tasks:
    • manure and soiled bedding handling
    • deadstock management
    • feed management
    • clean bedding management
  2. Ensure that your biosecurity plan includes the use and maintenance of this dedicated equipment in practices designated for these areas and activities.
  3. If dedicated equipment for identified risk areas or individual activities is not feasible in your operation, use the five-step cleaning and disinfection process to clean and disinfect equipment and tools after each use and when moving between zones (see Section 2.3.3).
  4. Purchase your own equipment whenever feasible and inform service providers that it is to be used instead of equipment that is brought onto your farm.
  5. For equipment brought onto your farm (e.g., for custom work), inspect it before use and insist that it be cleaned and disinfected before use.
  6. Replace off-farm vehicles with farm-specific vehicles for high-risk activities, such as movement of animals and transport of manure.

2.5 Key area of concern 5: Monitoring and record keeping

Target Outcome: Information is maintained and used to improve the effectiveness of biosecurity practices. The status of animal health, identification, and inputs may be verified by record review.

2.5.1 Herd health records

Animals are observed on a daily basis and the findings are documented in the herd health record. Health records are reviewed regularly to detect any changes in animal health and production over time and to initiate the necessary response.

  1. Maintain herd health records that correspond with your herd health management program (see section 2.2.1). Herd health records should include, but are not limited to:
    • Production records: Documented information will be specific to the farm's operation and may include milk production and component testing, kid production, kid weights, or volume, weight and quality of fibre produced. Frequency of recording may be daily, weekly, monthly or on a cyclical basis, depending on the data available;
    • Health monitoring: Observations of clinical signs and the progress of any disease from earliest stages to resolution;
    • Disease occurrences and interventions: Surveillance for diseases of concern at the farm level; examples include number of cases of pneumonia, number of animals culled for poor body condition, and number of cases of diarrhea in neonatal kids;
    • Veterinary care: Treatments discussed with and administered by or under the guidance of your herd veterinarian, including prescription, treatment, withdrawal times and results of the treatment;
    • Disease specific programs and control: Related to diseases being actively managed on your farm, including diseases of concern and any industry or regional programs.
  2. Document this information, along with the date and the name of the person who made the entry, in a manual log book or other permanent record. Computerized records may provide more detailed and current analysis of the data. Hand-held devices may be valuable to efficiently document health and production events.
  3. Review herd health records with your farm workers when preparing their daily work plan. Determine whether any additional biosecurity practices are needed and ensure that appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning and disinfection supplies are available.
  4. Review herd health records with your herd veterinarian on a regular basis, and discuss and implement adjustments to practices, if needed.
  5. Prepare cumulative, herd-wide summaries of the herd health records and review them annually. Use this information to establish new goals and implement changes to your herd health management program, if needed.
  6. Maintain a summary of the herd health management program and your herd health and disease experience so that it can be used in discussions with potential purchasers.

2.5.1.1 Individual animal records

Records are maintained for each animal to document data on health, productivity and movement throughout the individual's lifetime.

  1. Maintain individual animal records that include:
    1. Signalment
      1. Date of birth, including identification of littermates
      2. Dam information including herd of origin, important medical history, date of birth
      3. Sire information including herd of origin, important medical history, date of birth, type of breeding (natural or AI)
      4. Rearing history, including origin if born off-farm, source of colostrum, dam-reared or artificial rearing
    2. Production history
      1. Milk production
      2. Kid production, including number of kids per birth, kid identification and growth
    3. Health history
      1. Abnormal kidding events (if female)
      2. Body condition information
      3. Vaccination events
      4. Preventive treatment events (i.e., deworming, coccidiostats)
      5. Diagnoses of abnormal health events (e.g., pregnancy toxemia, pneumonia), including treatments and outcomes. Veterinary medical records are included.
      6. Test results of disease testing (e.g., CAE tests)
      7. Date and reason of death, including necropsy results
      8. Date and reason of cull
    4. Travel history
      1. Shows attended, dates of departure and return
      2. Off-farm for other reasons (e.g., semen collection)
      3. All activities and risk exposures recorded, including other livestock and transportation
    5. Isolation history
      1. If isolated for any reason (e.g., illness, abnormal test results, departure and return to the farm), record time in isolation and all test results

In many cases, these individual records may be subcomponents of your overall herd health records.

2.5.1.2 Identification and traceability

Each animal is identified using industry-standard identification, which links each animal with health and production-related data and tracks movement, both on and off the farm, throughout an animal's lifetime.

  1. Identify each animal using an industry-standard method of identification, such as a Canadian National Goat Federation (CNGF)-recommended identification tag.
  2. Link the animal's identification to its individual health and production data.
  3. Use the animal's identification to track all movement, both on and off of the farm, throughout its lifetime.

2.5.2 Farm management records

Records for farm management activities are maintained and reviewed regularly with animal health records to assess their effectiveness in the biosecurity plan.

  1. Maintain farm management records, which may include but are not limited to:
    • farm worker and visitor logs;
    • cleaning and disinfection practices;
    • manure and deadstock disposal;
    • biosecurity training and communication initiatives.
  2. Document the date, the name of the person who completed the activity, and the areas of the farm involved, if relevant, for each activity.
  3. Review these records in conjunction with your herd health records to determine whether any farm management activities may be related, positively or negatively, to changes in animal health. Use this assessment to make any adjustments to your farm management practices.

2.5.3 Input records

Information on the source and quality for each purchase of feed, bedding, and any other input is maintained and may be used as a reference if related health issues are suspected.

  1. Record purchases and deliveries of feed, forages and commercially-available supplements, including date, source or supplier, type, quantity, quality and means of delivery.
  2. Take a sample of forages and identify it with the record of purchase and delivery above. Test the sample and enter the quality and nutritional value into the record. Provide the test results for formulation of additional nutrients and to balance rations (see sections 2.2.5 and 2.2.7).
  3. Document the dates of use for each ration, as well as the quantity and the goats to which it was fed.
  4. Record purchases and deliveries of bedding, including date, source or supplier, type, quantity, quality and means of delivery.
  5. Record water testing results.

2.6 Key area of concern 6: Communications and training

Target Outcome: Everyone who enters the farm is knowledgeable and complies with current farm biosecurity practices.

2.6.1 Producer leadership

Producers take the responsibility for establishing their farm's biosecurity plan and educating their family members and farm workers. Service providers and visitors understand the farm's plan and abide by its requirements.

  1. Take the opportunity to discuss your biosecurity plan with all family members, farm workers and service providers frequently so that the plan is seen as a natural part of life on your farm.
  2. Meet with visitors when you are planning their visit to discuss your biosecurity plan and how it will apply to their activities on-farm.
  3. Review your biosecurity plan with all of your service providers, either in group discussions or in one-on-one sessions. Clearly explain the intended outcomes of your biosecurity practices and what activities you expect each service supplier to undertake in preparation for a visit to your farm, while they are on your farm, and when they are preparing to leave your farm. Ideally, work with your service suppliers to modify their biosecurity plans to suit your required outcomes.
  4. Make sure that you adhere to all required biosecurity practices during your activities on the farm. Use these opportunities to demonstrate proper practices to others.

2.6.2 Communication with farm workers, family members, service providers and visitors

Producers communicate the requirements of their biosecurity plans to farm workers, family members, service providers and visitors.

  1. Choose the method(s) of communication that are suitable to your farm. These may include:
    1. Discussions in a group setting with all workers together; request feedback on practices and revise protocols, if appropriate, to incorporate the feedback
    2. Individual discussions in scheduled meetings or on-the-job
  2. Develop and use both verbal and written material.
  3. Prepare signage with specific instructions for selected areas of the farm and production areas.
  4. Maintain records for the application of biosecurity practices in each work area, and use the results for feedback to family, farm workers and service providers.

2.6.3 Training and education

Educating farm workers, family members, service providers and visitors is undertaken whenever practices are added or changed; they are explained to visitors and service providers in advance of their arrival.

  1. Plan and carry out regularly-scheduled training sessions with all family members and farm workers, both one-on-one and in group sessions; identify areas that require additional training and verify the participants' knowledge during each session.
  2. Hold training sessions whenever a practice is changed or when a new practice is added to your biosecurity plan.
  3. Include demonstrations of best practices in training sessions and on the job.
  4. Monitor the activities of family members and farm workers during their work on the farm. Commend good performance and address any gaps identified in knowledge and ability.
  5. Explain all applicable biosecurity practices to visitors and service providers. Provide the appropriate training and resource material, as needed.

2.6.4 Performance effectiveness of the biosecurity plan

The effectiveness of the biosecurity plan is measured by the adoption of its biosecurity practices and their integration into daily routines; improvements to the farm's biosecurity plan are designed and implemented.

  1. Review key health performance indicators contained in the herd health records (see section 2.5) during and following implementation of your biosecurity plan and as changes to the plan are made.
  2. Discuss your performance with your herd veterinarian and other advisors and adjust your plan, as needed, depending on their analysis.
  3. Meet with your family members and farm workers at least twice yearly to discuss the usefulness and effectiveness of each of the practices in your biosecurity plan. Measure the usefulness and effectiveness of the practices by the results and changes they see following implementation.
  4. Review education and training sessions after each session to identify improvements that can be made.
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