Evaluation of Biosecurity
Biosecurity means to prevent the introduction of disease and disease causing organisms or control their spread. In the OSHP, there is no requirement for any specific level of biosecurity. However it is mandatory for the producer and veterinarian to do a self assessment in order to identify those areas of flock management that may put the flock at greater risk of disease. As with flock health management, the producer and veterinarian perform the assessment and then complete a Biosecurity Status Report which is mandatory. A copy of the status form, signed by the veterinarian is submitted to Ontario Sheep Farmers. Areas covered in this assessment are divided into RISK FROM ANIMALS and RISK FROM PEOPLE AND EQUIPMENT and include:
- Risks from direct contact with livestock.
- Risk from introduction of new genetics from lowest risk (embryos and semen) to highest risk (animals from an unknown source or many sources).
- Isolation of new introductions and sick sheep to reduce risk.
- Reducing risk using animal flow.
- Risk from indirect contact with livestock and their products, e.g. manure, livestock trucks, wind-borne, water-borne disease.
- Management of dead stock to reduce risk from improper handling, including predators and dog tapeworms.
- How to handle manure to reduce risk to flock of transmission of disease (e.g. Johne's disease).
- Risk from non-food animals such as vermin, cats, dogs and wild canids, carrion birds, nuisance animals such as raccoons and skunks.
- Limiting access to farm from outside vehicles such as livestock trucks
- Having visitors not wear contaminated clothing into the barns.
- How to avoid fecal contamination of feed and water.
- Risk from veterinarians and veterinary equipment.
- Reducing risks from the shearer, particularly with respect to caseous lymphadenitis.
- Reducing risk from livestock vehicles to animals transported in them.
Producers can score their farm's performance using the Biosecurity Status report. The veterinarian can assign a score to each section with 0 = Low Risk; 1 = Moderate Risk; and 2 = High Risk. Items under Risk from Animals are weighted twice as much as items from Risk from People and Equipment. A lower score means better biosecurity. This does not replace any biosecurity requirements for any disease control program.