Lockdown Disease Amongst Your Flock with a Belt and Braces Biosecurity Plan!February 2, 2017
Our Animal Health Team Share Advice on How to Implement an Effective Biosecurity Plan!
Fifteen years ago the UK was hit by a disease that stopped farming in its tracks. The foot and mouth outbreak of 2001 saw the mass slaughter of millions of animals, which cost a whopping £8bn. Today it seems like a distant memory but the importance of investing in biosecurity lives on.
In recent years, the government has introduced several reforms including the legal obligation for farmers and vets to inform authorities of “notifiable diseases”, such as blue tongue in sheep. However, disease still poses a threat with SAC figures confirming that Bovine Viral Diarrhoea alone currently affects 20% of Scottish herds.
What’s more poor disease control management can result in mass loss of livestock assets, Thankfully Hamilton Brothers stock everything you need to manage disease control, so here’s some top tips from our Animal Health experts to help you create a three stage watertight biosecurity plan!
Quarantine Without Question
Firstly, all stock brought onto the farm must be quarantined in accordance with the government’s six day standstill policy as buying or moving stock can increase the risk of introducing disease to your existing holding.
To minimise risk, we recommend only buying from accredited schemes or trusted sources and keeping accurate records of stock in cattle or sheep movement books. It bodes well to treat and inspect your new stock during this time.
On arrival, sheep should be treated with Norbrook’s Closamectin, and must be kept in the yard for 48 hours after treatment and separate from the rest of the flock for a further three weeks.
Ensure Farm Hygiene is Routine
It is imperative that a farm hygiene routine is established. Pens or buildings housing livestock should all be regularly cleaned out. All surfaces including walls, floors and on feeding equipment should be disinfected with a solutions such as Hyperox and allowed to dry prior to housing.
Many diseases spread through unclean bedding so all cubicle beds should have any potential contaminants removed twice daily by laying fresh sawdust or applying an antibacterial product such as Britmilk’s Cosisan Powdered Bedding Disinfectant or Bedding Lime.
Dung heaps should be kept clear of animal housing as they attract flies which carry nasty ectoparasitic infections and disease, so invest in an effective fly spray or pour on treatment such as Kilco’s Permost Spray or Cooper’s Spot On Treatment. We also stock papers and killing granules to reduce the farm fly population and we have a range of mat or mouse traps and poisons to keep your food storage area clean and vermin free. But remember, you must undergo “Farm Assured” training to apply such poisons.
Hygiene is also paramount during all routine animal husbandry. Basic rules apply such as using clean needles and syringes when vaccinating, we recommend the Sterimatic Multi-Dose Syringe, needle protector and cleaning system.
Invest in Prior Planning and Preparation with a 12 Month Plan
Finally, you must have a 12 month Animal Health Plan in place to complement biosecurity measures. It must include vaccinations plus endo and ecto parasite treatments (we stock both injectable and over the throat drenches for sheep and cattle), and you need to accurately record the use of all farm medicines. We recommend reviewing your plan every 6 months to take account of changing health issues and government regulations.
Our Tarbolton based Animal Health team are always on hand to offer professional advice on the latest products and treatments, and with our fantastic deals to help implement your biosecurity plan, you can also save a buck or two along the way!
Big Savings on Biosecurity Measures!
Buy 12.5L Animec Value Pack for only £95 + VAT instead of £130!
Plus get a FREE DRENCHING GUN!
Offer available while stocks last.
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