A Steinbach area veterinarian says biosecurity measures that weren't though about 30 years ago are now common place within the swine industry.
Dr. Claude Mason, with Sheridan Heuser Provis Swine Health Services, says while biosecurity has been a high priority among veterinarians as long as he has been in practice, recognition of the importance of keeping disease out of the barn has become much more common along with the increase in the size of production units.
"Over time the biggest risk of getting disease entry into a barn are the animals themselves.
There are huge dollars spent and a lot of time spent by all people and all aspects of the animal industry to do isolation, quarantining, testing, selecting breeding stock depending on where they come from and assessing the possibilities of animals bringing infectious agents in with them and what kind of protocols can be developed to prevent that from happening.
Other key items are what we call vectors, anything living or mechanical that can carry contamination that contains disease organisms, viruses and bacteria, from outside the barn wall inside the barn wall.
Locked doors, fly control, rodent control, changing boots and coveralls, showers, all of these things not only are effective at preventing things from getting into the barn but they increase people's awareness of how important it is.
I have to shower before I go in to work with pigs. That is critical and it used to not be part of people's understanding or awareness in the past how we ourselves can carry things in that will make our herds sick."
Dr. Mason stresses, whether it's people control, truck traffic control, vector control or the animals themselves, biosecurity requires a proactive rather than reactive approach.