Biosecurity on the Horse Farm

موقع أيام نيوز

The COVID19 pandemic showed how alarmingly quickly a virus can spread across countries and continents and created an understandable reaction to protect against infection from any and all viruses and pathogens. By extension it is also essential that there is a level of biosecurity on your farm or acreage to protect horses against agents of disease.
According to a document published by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency CFIA entitled National Farm and Facility Level Biosecurity Standard for the Equine Sector infectious diseases in horses continue to rank as one of the major challenges for horse owners and managers. Diseases lead to illnesses that are sometimes fatal and can incur financial costs welfare concerns and possible risks to human health. Some infectious diseases are zoonotic meaning they are caused by viruses bacteria or parasites that can spread from animals to humans putting people at risk.

Sources of pathogens include other horses that are sick domestic animals such as pets contaminated food water and soil housing areas and wildlife and pests such as insects spiders ticks rodents and other nuisance animals. 
Transmission of infection can be direct through physical contact and connection with a pest animal indirect through contact with clothing tack or equipment ingestion through consumption of contaminated food andor water aerosol transmission through tiny contaminated droplets being released by coughing sneezing snorting or whinnying airborne when tiny particles are released from disturbed materials on the ground or in feed and vectors such as insects and other wild animals.

Preventive measures and biosecurity systems are an essential part of horse management especially given the prevalence of spreading and reemerging diseases. With the influence of climate change and unusual shifts in weather patterns new diseases are emerging with microorganisms able to expand their geographic ranges as well as adapt with a genetic change that allows them to infect other animals for continued transmission to humans as a zoonotic disease. In addition invasive plants have affected every region in Canada. The CFIA estimates that 1229 nonnative vascular plants have become established with 486 troublesome enough to be considered invasive or weedy and disruptive to native plants.

Farms and facilities with poor biosecurity may become a significant risk to others in the neighbourhood and beyond and every farm should have a biosecurity plan that can be readily implemented. Simple procedures can reduce the transmission of diseases enhance animal health and wellbeing protect public health reduce costs and maintain