Appendix 1. Biosecurity Advice
Keep disease out
- Minimise movement of animals and vehicles on and off farm. Movement of animals, people and vehicles on to your farm increases the risk of disease being introduced.
- Responsible sourcing of livestock. Maintain a closed herd or flock if you can. Adopt best practices and source replacement stock of known high health status. Consider carefully the risks of importing stock from countries or areas known to be a higher disease risk. Ensure you comply with all relevant legislation.
- Quarantine and isolation. Keep bought-in animals separate from the rest of the herd or flock for 21 days to ensure these animals are not incubating disease.
- Treatment and vaccination. Develop and maintain a herd or flock health plan with your vet. Consult your vet and take advice on appropriate treatments and vaccinations for purchased livestock to make sure they have the same health status as your existing stock.
- Farm management. Consider the benefits of management systems such as 'all-in/all-out'. Keep movement records up to date at all times. Adhere to relevant standstill requirements. Inspect stock regularly. Ensure that housing and boundary fencing is secure to prevent straying and contact with neighbouring livestock.
- Detect disease early: know the signs and be vigilant. Descriptions of notifiable diseases can be found at the Scottish Government web site.
- Feed and water. Ensure that feed is stored in a sealed and vermin-proof container. Maintain good pest control. Remember - feeding waste food (even from a vegan kitchen) to livestock is illegal. Use mains water wherever possible.
- Be clean. Maintain and use disinfection facilities. Keep footwear clean. Vehicle wash facilities should be positioned to drain away from animals.
- Contingency plan. Put in place a farm contingency plan. Create your own contingency plan using our template.
It is a legal requirement that any person who suspects that an animal may have a statutory notifiable disease must report this to their local APHA Duty Vet. Your local APHA office number is ………………………………………………. (insert your local number here)
What to do if disease is confirmed in the area
- Increase level of biosecurity. Certain movements on and of your farm may be prohibited as part of disease control measures. Display contact telephone numbers at entry points. Establish a cleansing and disinfection point at the entrance and exit of the premises. Maintain a list of all visitors.
- Heighten vigilance. Inspect livestock more carefully and more frequently. You are legally required to report any suspicion of notifiable disease to your local Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) office immediately.
- Listen for news. Be aware of the disease and animal movement situation nationally and, if appropriate, locally. Government or industry phone helplines may be activated. Use the APHA animal disease alert service.
- Isolate stock. If possible move stock away from fields adjoining neighbouring farms to form a 'firebreak'. Avoid using fields next to roads.
- Separation. Attempt to split your farm into separate units with separate staff/equipment and no direct contact between units.
- Update your contact list. Ensure that you and/or key staff can be readily contacted.
- Notify recent livestock movements immediately to the appropriate database. Pig and sheep movements should be recorded through ScotEID.
- Movement of animals/machinery may require a licence. For example contractors during milking or harvest.
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