Farm biosecurity is the protection of livestock and crops from the establishment and spread of diseases and pests. It is made up of processes designed to prevent and minimize the risk of establishment and spread of pest and disease populations. Biosecurity practices include restricting visitors, sanitation protocols for equipment, and vaccinations for livestock, but also less direct actions such as proper animal and plant health programs.
The key to a successful biosecurity program is to identify causes, both indirect and direct, that reduce immune response or crop tolerance or predispose livestock or crops to disease. Once the cause is known, it can be traced back to identify the source, which will likely be the most successful point of remediation.
A farm biosecurity program can help demonstrate and educate others about the principles of proper risk prevention, and show that biosecurity is an active and progressive process that involves everyone in the farm ecosystem.
Farm biosecurity is an investment that will pay off by maintaining livestock and crop health and helping to ensure the production of quality products. In general, it’s more beneficial and less costly to prevent disease and damage from occurring rather than rely on treatment. Similarly, the prevention of loss and quality can help to maintain the efficiency of production. The primary investment in a biosecurity program is the time it takes for training and implementation, but once implemented, it can become a natural part of the farm procedures.