Chapter 13 – Chronic Wasting Disease Voluntary Herd Certification Program
13.6 Appendix 5: Suggected Biosecurity Practices
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The biosecurity and good management practices (GMPs) below are not currently a requirement of the Chronic Wasting Disease Voluntary Herd Certification Program (CWD VHCP). Canada faces a large challenge with CWD in that it is present in both wild and farmed animals in certain areas of the country, and that it is easily transmitted through direct and indirect contact.
Any producers who are looking for suggestions on ways to reduce the risk of CWD in their herd over and above current VHCP requirements (which include keeping detailed herd records, inventory, and accounting for movements of animals in and out) may find one or more of the following options useful.
These suggestions are based on the best available understanding of the science surrounding CWD and GMPs.
Record Keeping and Administration
- Have a farm plan with a diagram that shows the locations of all pens, shelters, fences, feed storage areas, feeding and watering stations, and any natural water sources that are common with wildlife.
- Keep visitor logs that record the movement of all people and vehicles onto and off of the premises.
- Provide personnel training (i.e. a written and verbal program on-farm to educate and train, and retrain, all workers and family members), ensuring knowledge of all biosecurity principles and compliance with practices used on-farm.
Minimizing Direct (Animal-to-Animal) Transmission of CWD
- Run the fence at least four times per year (or sooner if a problem is noticed) to ensure that it is intact.
- Have other mechanisms in place to deter wild cervids from entering the premises (e.g. provide protection with dogs, keep feeding and watering stations away from fences, add one strand of electric fence outside the main fence, or install other double-fencing options).
- Prohibit temporary commingling with animals outside of the herd, unless they are of equal, or higher, certification status (even for breeding or shows).
Minimizing Indirect Transmission of CWD
- Use all disposable equipment only once (e.g. needles, syringes, gloves).
- Clean and disinfect all other non-disposable equipment that comes into contact with bodily fluids (e.g. velveting tools), according to the guidelines in Module 13.6, Appendix 2.
- Avoid bringing products or by-products of cervid origin onto the farm (e.g. supplements for velvet growth, attractants, baits, tissues, or carcasses).
- Have dedicated personal equipment for use only on the enrolled farm (e.g. dedicate clean boots and coveralls for visitors only and separate ones for employees).
- Protect feed from contamination by having a rodent control program in place. (Rodents can ingest and shed prions.)
- Protect feed from contamination by storing it in a physically protected area that is away from wild cervids and other animals.
- Bring in feed only from those areas that are non-endemic for CWD and from reliable sources.
- Bring hay bales inside your fence in a timely manner to minimize the opportunity for hungry wild cervids to salivate or defecate on the feed source for farmed animals – which is especially important in the fall.
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