ARCHIVED - Video - Animal Health Starts on the Farm - Part 2

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Basic principles for protecting animal health on Canadian farms - Section 2: Animal Health Management

Section 2: Animal Health Management - HTML5 Transcript/Captions

When it comes to managing the movement of animals, there are basic biosecurity measures you can put into place to help protect your animals' health.

Purchase new animals from suppliers with comprehensive disease-control programs. Be sure to practice animal identification. And participate in traceability systems when possible.

New animals should be isolated for a sufficient period of time to ensure they are not incubating a disease. Also, evaluate them for disease before they are introduced to the farm population. The evaluation should include examination by trained animal health experts, and may include tests for specific diseases.

And it's not just new animals that should be isolated. Animals that have been off the farm, perhaps at fairs and exhibitions, should be segregated before rejoining the population.

Effectively managing your animals' health also means that you observe them daily for signs of disease.

Monitoring should include regular consultations with your animal health expert. He or she can help you set up disease-prevention and herd-management programs, ensure your animal health records are up to date, and investigate animal deaths.

Make sure your staff look for signs of declining animal health. These include loss of appetite, weight loss, abnormal behavior and unexplained death.

Your animal health expert can also help keep you informed about diseases found or suspected in neighbouring operations and areas.

Planning is key, so that you can quickly respond to any potential disease situations.

Remember, your animal health expert is an excellent resource. He or she can help you prepare a response plan and identify the triggers that would set your plan in motion if an outbreak happens on your premises.

These triggers could include a large number of animals showing subtle signs of disease, such as declining production and decreased feed consumption.

Make sure your employees know about your plan and its disease-response procedures. Have current contact information for your animal-health expert and for district, provincial and territorial veterinarians, and post it in places where everyone can find it.

And be sure your response plan includes steps to limit the movement of animals and animal by-products, vehicles, equipment and people.

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