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Livestock Biosecurity

Biosecurity refers to daily practices that are designed to prevent, minimize or control the introduction and spread of disease.

Disease can be spread directly between healthy and infected animals or indirectly between animals and contaminated equipment. No matter the type or size of your operation, it can be affected by disease. Developing biosecurity protocols tailored to your individual operation helps to protect your livestock from the introduction of disease and establish preventative measures against a possible outbreak.

Biosecurity practices should be implemented in key areas, including animal health management, operational management and access management to form a biosecurity plan for your operation. Not only can it help prevent disease on the farm, but it also reduces the spread of disease between operations and different species. An effective plan begins by adding control measures when entering your operation. Control measures include having distinct zones for incoming animals and sick animals, establishing access requirements such as clean clothing and footwear or limiting access to individuals required for the care and handling of livestock. Some biosecurity measures for animal health include isolating new animals or animals that have been off-farm, observing for signs of disease, having a plan in place for a potential disease situation and following vaccination programs. Participating in pest control programs, applying sanitation practices to vehicles, equipment and tools and managing the disposal of dead livestock and manure are also great biosecurity practices tied to operational management.

Adopting these biosecurity measures can play a vital role in animal health, welfare and improving farm productivity, as well as maintaining and growing markets for livestock products. The use of these biosecurity practices shows processors, buyers and consumers that you are following sustainable production practices that keep the health of the animal at top of mind. Effective biosecurity protocols help protect access to increasingly sophisticated markets.

Saskatchewan livestock producers looking to enhance their biosecurity protocols and equipment can access funding through the Assurance Systems Programs – Producer Program. This program provides support to beef cattle, bison, cervids, dairy, goats, poultry, sheep and swine sectors as well as Crown land pasture grazing associations. The program is delivered as a rebate with prerequisites that include completion of veterinarian assessments of your operation and industry-specific training or certification. Depending on the sector, there is potential funding of up to $15,000, with 50 per cent of eligible equipment, audits and veterinarian assessment expenses available for rebate funding. Applications for the program must be received on or before Dec. 31, 2022.

For more information about biosecurity measures or the program, please reach out to your local agriculture programs specialist, visit our Canadian Agricultural Partnership program pages, or contact the Agriculture Knowledge Centre at 1-866-457-2377.

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