Biosecurity for Youth
Biosecurity is the set of preventative measures taken to reduce the risk of disease introduction or transmission. You are a part of the swine industry even if you only have one pig. Having biosecurity protocols in place for your project will help to make sure that not only your pigs stay healthy, but that the pigs in your area and the U.S. also stay healthy.
What is biosecurity?
The set of preventative measures taken to reduce the risk of disease introduction or transmission.1
I only have a few pigs for my swine project. Do I need to worry about biosecurity?2
You are a part of the swine industry, yes, even if you only have one pig. Having biosecurity protocols in place for your project will help to make sure that not only your pigs stay healthy, but that the pigs in your area and the U.S. also stay healthy.
Biosecurity begins when you first start your project (whether you breed your own show pigs or you purchase them) and continues when you return home from the show. Biosecurity is important after a show even if you don’t return home with pigs. Other exhibitors can bring diseases from their area to the show and might not even know or tell other exhibitors about the disease. Diseases can remain on articles that were used at the show and can cause a disease outbreak for pigs that are on or will be on your farm in the future.
What are ways to ensure biosecurity for my swine project?
Have a close relationship with your swine veterinarian. 2 Having a veterinarian to call when you think that you may have a disease outbreak is important for your animals. They will be able to determine the disease and the best course of action for treating the disease based on your needs.
Biosecurity on the farm
1. Minimize the contact between visitors and your swine herd. 2
People can carry swine diseases on their cars, clothes, shoes and even their bodies. Provide visitors at the very minimum with plastic boot coverings to place over their shoes while visiting your farm.
2. Obtain a premise ID from your state agriculture department. A premise id is important for even those individuals who only have pigs on their farm for a few months out of the year. If there is a disease outbreak in your area it is one of the only ways for individuals to help you in controlling the outbreak.
3. Control birds, wildlife, rodents and cats exposure to your herd. 2 Most animals and birds can carry diseases from other farms to yours that will infect your swine project. Minimizing their contact with your herd will help defend against disease.
4. Isolate new pigs away from pigs that are already on a farm. 2
It can take a few days or weeks for pigs to show signs of a disease. Isolating new pigs away from your current ones for at least 21 days will help to determine if the new pigs are carrying most diseases.
5. Check the herd health of pigs and semen that you purchase for your project.2
Bringing animals or semen to your farm that are already diseased is one of the easiest and fastest ways to spread disease on your farm. Don’t be afraid to ask those individuals that you purchase from for health papers from their veterinarian. You aren’t being rude and most sellers will offer their health status to you without you even having to ask.
6. Dispose of dead pigs in a timely manner.2
Despite how hard you try sometimes your pigs die and these animals can cause your animals to become sick. Make sure to have a disposal program in place for your project that follows guidelines for your county and state.
7. Locate your swine project away from other swine herds.2
Swine diseases can spread almost 2 miles through the air. If at all possible try and locate your swine project at least 2 miles away from any swine operation. Since this is not always possible, make sure to follow other biosecurity protocols for your farm.
Before and after the show
It is important to sanitize your equipment, clothes, and boots before and after the show. Before the show will help to make sure that you aren’t bringing diseases from the farm to the show area, and that when you are returning home you aren’t bringing diseases from the show back home with you.
2. Minimize contact at the show with other animals at the show and the home herd.2
Make sure to minimize the contact that you have with other species that may be at the show or fair. If you have two species try and have a different pair of boots to use for each species. During a show use different boots and clothes to take care of animals that are still at home.
3. Isolate pigs that you bring home from the show.2
Isolate pigs taken to a show and brought home from pigs that were left at home for at least 21 days. This will help to make sure that you do not infect your home herd with diseases that the pigs from the show may have come in contact with during the show.
How and What needs to be sanitized?2
Clothing. Clothes that were used at the show can simply be washed normally in the washing machine and dryer.
Boots. Boots should be sanitized through the sanitation process.
Equipment. All equipment taken to and used at the show should be sanitized through the sanitation process.
What is the sanitation process?2
1. Cleaning: This process involves removing all dirt and manure from equipment. It is an important step in the overall sanitation process. Some disinfectant products can be used up or inactivated by dirt and manure. Hot water and detergents, similar to those used for dish washing, make cleaning much easier.
2. Disinfection: Disinfectant products are chemical agents that inactivate or kill diseases and are only effective after dirt and manure have been removed. Proper disinfection reduces the number of pathogens which reduces the transmission of diseases. Commonly used disinfectant products can be purchased at a farm supply store. Bleach is also a very good and inexpensive disinfectant. Always consult the disinfectant label claims regarding proper dilution and contact times and be sure to work with your veterinarian to make a decision on which product will work best for your situation.
3. Drying: Drying is crucial to the process of equipment cleaning because drying kills many infectious organisms. Without including the drying step in your cleaning process, the risk of allowing infection to survive and multiply may increase.
For more information, please search for the following resources on PIG:
PIG References: A Champion’s Guide to Youth Swine Exhibition: Biosecurity and Your Pig Project
1. Youth PQA Plus Manual
2. A Champion’s Guide to Youth Swine Exhibition: Biosecurity and Your Pig Project