National Farm and Facility Level Biosecurity User Guide for the Equine Sector
Annex 3: Self-evaluation checklist for risk assessment

Equine farm or facility level biosecurity self-assessment tool

The objective of the self-assessment is to identify areas of risk and identify appropriate biosecurity actions to develop your site-specific biosecurity plan.

For the purpose of this self-assessment, separation is defined as using physical barriers to prevent direct contact between horses. Separation is a management tool to minimize the risk of introduction and spread of disease. Other terminology such as isolation and quarantine is commonly used for specific purposes of separation (see separation in the glossary for additional information on other terminology).

Date of assessment: space

Components of a biosecurity plan

1. Information and intelligence gathering
1a) Owner, farm or facility identification and other important contact information. Name:
Location (Physical and Geographic Information System – GIS):
Contact person:
Emergency contact (people and numbers):
Veterinarian:
Farrier:
Police:
Fire:
Ambulance:
Other:
1b) Identified resources and communication networks to adjust your biosecurity plan and training protocols to potential risks in your area and region.
2. Monitoring and maintaining animal health response (Standard reference: Section 5.0)
Biosecurity activities 2a) All resident horses. Do you… Yes No Sometimes If no, identify biosecurity measures that could be implemented on your farm or facility that would minimize the risk or concern.
have a veterinarian that is familiar with your farm or facility and the herd health practices?
have an agreement in place for horses under the care of individuals other than the owner, that provides for an immediate response in the event of potential welfare impacts or disease?
have a preventive health program for resident horses?
align new horses to the farm or facility preventive health program either:
  • prior to arrival or
align new horses to the farm or facility preventive health program:
  • separate the horses on arrival until measures have been implemented?
monitor and inspect horses daily for signs of sickness?
separate horses with consideration to age, health status, use and social well-being?
have established (and written) disease response and emergency protocols?; and
  • have staff and personnel been trained?
maintain health records of horse treatments?
obtain a veterinary diagnosis for horses that appear to have died from an infectious disease or an unknown cause?
Biosecurity activities 2b) Managing sick or ill horses. Do you… Yes No Sometimes If no, identify biosecurity measures that could be implemented on your farm or facility that would minimize the risk or concern.
have a separate stall and/or paddock for sick horses that prevents contact with other horses?
work with healthy horses before attending to sick?
wear gloves and protective clothing when handling sick horses?
wash your hands after handling sick horses?
disinfect footwear (if boot covers are not available) after working with sick horses?
use designated or dedicated equipment:
  • for treating sick animals?
use designated or dedicated equipment:
  • for cleaning the horse stalls or paddocks?
clean and disinfect equipment used:
  • in the care and treatment of sick horses?
clean and disinfect equipment used:
  • in managing the contaminated areas of the farm or facility?
3. New horses, returning and visiting horses (Standard reference: Section 6.0)
Biosecurity Activities Do you… Yes No Sometimes If no, identify biosecurity action points that could be implemented on your farm or facility that would minimize the risk or concern.
require validation of the health status of a horse prior to accepting arrival at the farm or facility? (This includes a review of health records to ensure deworming and vaccination status are consistent with the resident herd).
have a procedure and written agreement to align the health status of horses prior to arrival if their health status is not consistent with the resident herd? (For example, vaccinate as indicated or align to the facility management deworming program).
have a separate stall and/or paddock that prevents contact with resident horses for new arrivals, returning and visiting horses?
Or are there other protocols that prevent contact with resident horses?
separate new additions or returning horses from the resident herd upon arrival?
require the equipment for visiting horses (tack, grooming, feed and water buckets) to be designated to an individual horse, and be cleaned and disinfected prior to arrival at your farm or facility?
validate the health status of horses visiting for short term activities (not housed overnight)?
Keep these horses separate from the resident herd at all times?
provide event managers permission to take measures to minimize disease risks if disease is identified in your horse or a participant's horse while at an event?
clean and disinfect trailers prior to use?
4. Access management (Standard reference: Section 7.0)
Biosecurity activities Do you… Yes No Sometimes If no, identify biosecurity action points that could be implemented on your farm or facility that would minimize the risk or concern.
have established criteria that must be met to permit access to your farm or facility? (This includes criteria for equipment, horses, vehicles and people).
have visible signage that identifies access and biosecurity considerations?
restrict the access of visitors and visiting horses to only those areas that are required for their activities with biosecurity considerations? (For example, their access is limited to only the areas that are necessary).
require everyone to wash and sanitize their hands before and after contact with horses?
limit farm and facility access to only essential people, equipment, vehicles, inputs, and horses?
have access points that are secured or monitored to increase compliance to biosecurity protocols?
have a perimeter fence that encloses the farm or facility to keep resident horses secured and other animals out?
ensure fences and gates are maintained to prevent unplanned commingling of your horses with those from another operation?
have a clearly identified parking area that is separate from the controlled access area?
5. Facility management (Standard reference: Section 8.0)
Biosecurity activities Do you… Yes No Sometimes If no, identify biosecurity action points that could be implemented on your farm or facility that would minimize the risk or concern.
have a visitor log that is available to record visitors on the farm?
And:
  • are all visitors required to sign in?
have a location (station) for hand washing with hand sanitizer, paper towels, and signage indicating recommended procedures for bio-safety?
clean and disinfect stalls regularly and between horses?
clean and disinfect wash stalls frequently in accordance with use?
And:
  • always following a horse with any skin disease?
designate or dedicate equipment for specified activities (for example, dedicate shovels for manure handling from resident healthy horses)?
designate or have specific equipment to be used only for each individual horse? (if not, do you clean and disinfect equipment between horses)?
have an established pest and parasite control program in place?
And:
  • do you manage the movements of pets and minimize exposure of horses to wildlife?
test and treat water if indicated?
clean and disinfect water distribution equipment regularly (weekly) between different horses?
And:
  • if there is the suspicion or confirmation of the water system being contaminated by pathogens?
source feed and bedding from reputable providers with verifiable quality assurance programs in place?
6. Biosecurity awareness, education and training (Standard reference: Section 9.0)
Biosecurity activities Do you… Yes No Sometimes If no, identify biosecurity activities that could be implemented on your farm or facility that would minimize the risk or concern.
develop biosecurity standard operating procedures with input from your veterinarian and are they specific for your farm or facility?
have a designated trained person to review and update the biosecurity standard operating procedures?
have a training program for staff and all personnel that is based on the farm or facility biosecurity standard operating procedures?
provide the training program to all staff;
And is it reviewed, and updated as required?
have all training and procedures documented and posted for easy reference by staff and personnel?
7. Farm and facility location, design and layout and renovations to existing facilities (Standard reference: Section 10)
Biosecurity activities Do you… Yes No Sometimes If no, identify biosecurity activities that could be implemented on your farm or facility that would minimize the risk or concern.
engage a diversity of expertise in the development of the design?
consider the effects of local and regional geography in the evaluation of biosecurity implementation?
consider the topography of the development site in the evaluation of biosecurity implementation?
base (consider) the layout of the facility on the implementation of biosecurity to facilitate separation and manage the traffic flow of people, equipment, horses, and inputs?
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