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Biosecurity Practices for Animal Health

Biosecurity is a set of management practices that collectively reduce the potential for the introduction or spread of animal disease-causing organisms onto and between farms.

The Scottish Government wishes to encourage everyone to take responsibility for biosecurity to avoid the devastating effects of animal disease. This is vital in terms of controlling and eradicating any notifiable diseases, and more generally in terms of maximising livestock health, welfare and productivity in Scotland.

Key practices are:

  • Buying in animals
  • Clean food and water
  • Hygiene
  • Separation and isolation
  • Slurry Management
  • Traceability and identification

To find out more, please select from the menu on the left or refer to our Codes of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock: Animal Health and Biosecurity.


Role in Disease Control

Vigillance and good biosecurity are the best form of defense against an outbreak of a notifiable disease, both in terms of prevention and, should disease reach Scotland, in terms of quickly bringing the situation under control.

To ensure that animal keepers are well informed of what to do, guidance has been prepared for a number of specific diseases. Further information, including the legislative requirements that will be in place in the event of an outbreak, can be found in our Contingency Plans.

If you suspect a notifiable disease contact your local Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) Office immediately.

Role in Livestock health and welfare and Economic Sustainability

Although biosecurity becomes particularly important during a notifiable disease outbreak, these basic practices should be routinely adopted as part of farm management to help reduce the burden of endemic disease in Scottish livestock. Biosecurity plans should be part of any herd or flock health plan.