Biosecurity: a boon for dairy farm

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Summary

Abstract

Inevitable health, production and economic losses occur due to poor biosecurity in livestock farm. Organized and well established dairy farms take care for this. Success in dairy farms depends hugely upon its biosecurity management. Good biosecurity management is an important tool to maintain animal health, production, and human health. It is a great tool to maintain better food security too. Many diseases and ailments of livestock due to improper biosecurity management occurs like FMD, Brucellosis, Bovine Tuberculosis, Mastitis, Ephemeral fever, Foot rot, Listeriosis, Rinderpest, Blue tongue, Pox, Tetanus, Calf scours, Ringworm which cause huge financial loss. This article tells importance of good biosecurity management with simple but effective steps.

Biosecurity means reducing chances of spread of infectious diseases at animal farm by animals or humans or by any other means. Biosecurity reduces the risk of infectious diseases at the farm. By management interventions we can do this.

Presence of infectious agent in an environment where the animals reside, may lead to cause disease in them under favorable conditions. That’s why; it becomes very necessary for livestock producers to take a strict note for maintaining biosecurity at farm level.

Potential benefits of proper maintenance of biosecurity at farm include:

  1. 1.      Better productivity of farm animals

Proper biosecurity maintenance will lead to better health of animals which in turn gives better returns. It also helps in maintaining a healthy environment inside the farm.

 

  1. 2.      Reduced risk at the farm

Less disease, less pests and very limited entry of unwanted circumstances inside farm premises reduces risk at farm.

 

  1. 3.      Early detection and management of diseases at farm

Easily find diseases, if there, and find suitable remedies timely.

 

  1. 4.      Reduced cost in case of diseases, pests and unwanted circumstances

Early detection and management will certainly cut the cost for eradicating, and will shorten treatment period.

Easy and effective biosecurity management methods:

  1. 1.      Reliable sources of farm inputs

 

  1. a.      Purchase of new animals for the farm

                     I. Newly purchased animals those are supposed to be introduced in the herd, should be checked for its source reliability, its health status.

                     II. Quarantine it for 30 days to notice any change in health, and inspection should be done daily before introducing it into herd.

                     III. Quarantined animals should be isolated from healthy herd and their grazing area should also be separate.

  1. b.      A.I. to be done by semen of verified and healthy male

Sometimes most of unwanted disease outbreak takes place due to       contaminated semen, equipments. Proper care should be taken in this regard

  1. c.      Feed, fodders, bedding materials and additives

                     I. Always buy freshly, hygienically prepared feed, fodder and additive materials from reputed and reliable source or best practice is to prepare it at own farm by following certain steps of balanced rationing.

                     II. Fresh, clean water supply should be there which meets standards and different parameters of good quality water and free from pathogens.

                     III. Poor and contaminated bedding material may enhance growth of pathogens which may lead to diseases, so, bedding material should be well dried and mixed with disinfectant like limestone powder.

  1. d.      Vaccines, medicines

                     I. Vaccination is one of the best methods to control outbreak of many harmful diseases at the farm.

                     II. Proper cold chain should be maintained while vaccination is been followed.

                     III. Vaccines and medicines should be purchased from reputed and reliable sources.

                     IV. Vaccination should be done against every possible disease whose vaccines are available.

                     V. Proper dose and age group of animals to be followed.

                     VI. Proper disposal of vaccine containers after its usage must be followed.

  1. e.      Other chemicals

Other chemical substances like disinfectants, antiseptics should be used judiciously as per the required doses prescribed by a competent and expert veterinarian. Regular interchanging of these chemical substances should be done.

  1. 2.      Restricted visit of humans and other animals

                     I. There should be very restricted visitors inside the farm whether they are humans or pet animals.

                     II. Other animals like dogs, cats, snakes, wild animals, birds should be forbidden to enter inside animal house.

                     III. Allowed visitors should be provided with well cleaned and disinfected clothes at the entrance and they should take bath before entering inside barn or house of animals.

                     IV. Foot bath should be maintained with cushioning material at its bottom for proper dipping. Proper dose of regularly changed, disinfectants should be used in foot bath.

                    V. Various farm zones should be made in which particular worker or animal from one farm zone doesn’t enter into other zone.

  1. 3.      Hygienic products

Responsibility to maintain biosecurity at the farm doesn’t end up only with the processes involved in the production but also with the hygienic output products so that the nearby areas around farm premises should be clean and free from unwanted circumstances. Better processed or raw products will not only increase value of farm but also helps in better maintenance of biosecurity as it will reduce waste and other unwanted byproducts. It will enhance biosecurity maintenance inside the farm.

  1. 4.      Proper farm waste disposal

                     I. Farm wastes like unutilized, stale, trampled feed and fodder, animal waste like- dung, urine mixed along with water, carcass comes under this category. Separate solid and liquid waste disposal should be there at proper distance outside farm premises.

                     II. Dung and other organic materials left at the farm may be utilized for biogas production, composting and vermicompoting as per may be the utility.

                     III. Liquid organic waste may be directly used along with irrigation after at least primary treatment in the cultivable agricultural fields.

                     IV. Carcass disposal can be done by suitable methods as per norms prevalent over specific areas. General methods of carcass disposal are- burial method, incineration, composting, etc.

  1. 5.      Vehicles, equipments

Vehicles, equipments used during farm operation must be disinfected properly before it is used.

  1. 6.     General farm hygiene maintenance

                    I. Clean production techniques should be followed,

                    II. Avoid borrowing equipments/utensils from other livestock keepers,

                    III. Ensure properly trained and healthy staff at the farm,

                    IV. Set up regular vaccination schedule,

                    V. Set up regular health recording schedule,

                    VI. Proper treatment of diseases

Conclusion

“Prevention is better than cure”, similarly biosecurity is also a kind of preventive management that should be taken care at farm so as to avoid risk of infectious disease and other ailments before they harm. Strictly followed biosecurity maintenance without failures and gaps surely reduce health, production and financial losses. Savings through these small-small steps certainly accelerates and promotes profitable dairy business.

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