Biosecurity Basics

Dennis L. DeWitt, Livestock Field Specialist, Northwest

Problem Statement:

Livestock are at risk of foreign animal disease and can be destroyed by a few unseen bacteria, parasites or viruses.  Biosecurity practices are like barriers to keep disease out.  Livestock premises should be a safe area.  Biosecurity doesnt have to be confusing or expensive.  Simple changes can provide an extra measure of protection for our livestock. 

Programmatic Response:

The Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH) is the only Center to focus on veterinary medicine and zoonotic diseases.  The CFSPH has developed tools on biological risk management to increase awareness of bioterrorism, agroterrorism and foreign animal diseases to prepare livestock producers for an animal emergency.


I was provided the motivation and the tools needed to educate beef producers and peers on the importance of biological risk management and steps to reduce disease risk after attending the Disease Risk Management Tools for Beef and Dairy Producers Train the Trainer program in July 2006.  During the last 12-months, 8 beef meetings with 6-hours of instruction reached 326 producers about on farm biosecurity.  Not one producer was keeping a log sheet of who, when, and where persons were entering the livestock premise.  A few have indicated they are now tracking premise contacts.  All 326 producers have now applied for their livestock premise identification number.  Many premises are requiring vehicle traffic to be limited or vehicles cleaned thoroughly prior to entry.  Thirty-two minutes of radio airtime and 15 minutes of cable television time was utilized to discuss risk of foreign animal disease, need to have an on-premise biosecurity risk management plan.  Two mass media articles have reached 1000s of the northwest Iowa livestock producers about need for improving biosecurity through improved sanitation, cleanliness and tracking of traffic movement.  Two ISU staff meetings have utilized the training materials.  A northwest Iowa sheep producers meeting with 22 producers were challenged with the possible risk of transmitting disease from sharing breeding stock or lack of an isolation facility and a plan for new additions to the sheep flock.  A similar program will be presented this summer to a National Sheep Improvement Program meeting and to a meat goat field day.

June 29, 2007
182  Farm Safety and Bio-security


Page last updated: August 3, 2007
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