Now that everyone’s attention has been turned to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be wondering how do farms minimize animal health problems? What biosecurity practices are in place to reduce risk? Minimizing health problems is just as important in animals as it is in humans. As I type this, events are being canceled, schools are closing, people are being encouraged to practice social distancing, and meetings are moving online. We are definitely in uncertain times but I am confident that this too shall pass. I think the biggest message I want to get across in this post is that biosecurity is nothing new to our livestock and poultry farms.
Biosecurity refers to all the daily practices that a farm does to reduce the risk of animal health problems. So, what do livestock and poultry producers do for biosecurity measures on the farm? They practice good sanitation by disinfecting equipment, cleaning feed/water troughs, providing fresh bedding, and cleaning up manure frequently. They are careful when traveling to and from the farm and change their clothing and footwear. They control visitor access by using signage, fencing, and protocols. They test and quarantine new animals to protect existing animals and to minimize introducing health problems. They work with a veterinarian to establish a herd health plan and biosecurity plan that works for their farm/situation.
Disease is so easily spread as the entire world is finding out right now. While so many businesses are slowing down operations or shutting down keep in mind our farmers are out there regardless caring for their livestock and poultry to keep us all fed. Farmers are the real OG when it comes to biosecurity.
I for one am thankful for all the livestock and poultry producers (kudos to my dad who is not only a beef producer but a chicken producer as well) and what they do on a daily basis to keep animals safe and healthy to ensure we can all eat each day!