Biosecurity for cattle
Interview source: Dave Sparks, Extension Veterinarian, Oklahoma State University
The term "biosecurity" simply means reducing exposure to disease.
Dave Sparks is an extension veterinarian with Oklahoma State University. He says biosecurity measures to keep your cattle healthy are not one-size-fits-all. He recommends talking with your veterinarian about disease issues.
"It's really important to have a place to isolate the sick animals," says Sparks. "Having that both in the plan and then physically ready to get those sick animals out of the general population until the challenge is past is vital. Another thing that's really important in that plan would be what your procedures would be for visitors. It's not rude to ask people to wear protective clothing and booties on their shoes, especially if they've come from another farm."
The other part of a good biosecurity plan is a checklist for maintaining sanitation. Sparks sees this as the biggest area where producers have room to improve.
"Coliform bacteria passed along becomes mastitis in cows, it becomes scours in calves. Coccidia is a really big problem that's related to sanitation. Flies are a very big problem. By cleaning up spilled feed, cleaning up wasted hay before it has a chance to deteriorate, getting the manure out of the way from the lots, will go a long ways."
Infectious diseases introduced into your operation can have a devastating effect on animal mortality – and your bottom line. Biosecurity needs to be a top priority in day-to-day management decisions.
Click here to learn more about measures you can take to develop a biosecurity plan
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