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Biosecurity: Protecting Farm Animals' Health and Welfare

Backgrounder

Biosecurity: Protecting Farm Animals' Health and Welfare

Ontario's farmers work hard to protect their animals' health and welfare by protecting them against illnesses that can accidentally be brought onto the farm from an outside source. They do this using best practices known as biosecurity.

Implementing an effective biosecurity plan reduces the risk of disease entry and spread in premises where livestock and poultry are raised.

Practices that can greatly help achieve this include:

  • Restricting entry to essential personnel
  • Providing boots and coveralls for staff and visitors for each barn
  • Changing into dedicated boots and coveralls upon entering each different barn
  • Using clean footbaths for different rooms
  • Providing shower facilities for visitors
  • Putting replacement stock in quarantine or ensuring that their health status is compatible with the existing herd
  • Minimizing entry of equipment, supplies etc. and taking appropriate precautions such as disinfection, removal from shipping boxes, etc.
  • Preventing entry by wild animals or pets by using screens in windows, air inlets, doors, etc.
  • Ensuring that feed and water sources are free from infectious agents
  • Reviewing the biosecurity plan and herd health program regularly with a veterinarian, including vaccination protocols

Practicing good biosecurity has several benefits, including:

  • Healthy animals (avoiding stress or trauma to animals and preventing disease transmission to farm animals)
  • Protecting human health (trespassers can unknowingly contract and spread diseases that can be transmitted to humans by animals)
  • Protecting our food supply (trespassers can introduce contaminants in food processing plants or from interacting with animals)

Both the Ontario government and the province's agricultural sector are committed to safeguarding animal health and welfare by supporting and promoting the highest standards of biosecurity protocols. 

For more information about Biosecurity: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/food/inspection/ahw/bios-title.htm

Media Contacts

  • Tanja Kiperovic

    Communications Branch

    519-826-3145

  • Avi Yufest

    Minister’s Office

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Rural and North