The health of the herd is a top priority for Canadian dairy farmers. Beyond their dedication to the comfort of their cattle, dairy farmers also know that happy, healthy cows make better milk.

The underlying premise behind the biosecurity module is the old adage that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ Under this module, farmers focus on managing risks and preventing the introduction of disease into and its spread within a herd. Maintaining a rigorous and credible quality assurance program like proAction is important to preserving and improving herd health and limiting the potential spread of disease.

A Common Framework for Biosecurity

Dairy Farmers of Canada worked with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to develop the National Standard - Biosecurity for Canadian Dairy Farms. The Standard and the Producer Planning Guide were first published in 2013.

Striking the Right Balance

Farmers need to balance biosecurity and having authorized visitors – like veterinarians and service providers – on their farms. Every aspect of the biosecurity module is designed to protect cattle health, maintain farm efficiency and the high quality of Canadian milk.

Under the biosecurity module of proAction, farms must conduct a Biosecurity Risk Assessment Questionnaire with their herd veterinarian every two years and implement clearly documented Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) related to biosecurity.

Mitigating Risk

Dairy farmers implement practices and protocols to safeguard animal health and minimize risk of disease spread within the farm. Biosecurity standards and requirements of proAction include segregating new animals introduced onto the farm for disease detection, monitoring the movement of authorized visitors entering a farm, protocols for vaccinations, appropriate protection such as clean boots or boot covers for guests, biosecurity signage, and clear records of diseases on the farm.

Dairy farmers test, vaccinate, and treat their cattle if necessary. Dairy farmers clean and disinfect equipment used on the farm and ensure that the driveways to their barns are kept clean to minimize accidental propagation of bacteria from, or to, other farms.

As with all modules of the proAction program, continuous learning and improvement are values that are fostered at every stage.

Last updated: 20/12/08

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