4H kids at fair showing cows spencer platt/Getty images
KEEP ANIMALS HEALTHY: Simple biosecurity procedures can control the spread of animal diseases.

Follow biosecurity tips for 4-H projects

Simple precautions can protect animals, members and consumers.

4-H members, volunteers and staff should know basic biosecurity procedures to help limit and stop the spread of animal diseases. Following simple and effective steps will help protect animals and other farms.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provided the following tips for practicing biosecurity, regardless of your farm’s size and scope:

• Keep your distance. Restrict animal access to people, wildlife and other domestic animals that could potentially be carrying disease. In addition, any time new animals are added to a farm there should always be a period of time in which they are separated from other animals. This ensures they are healthy before introducing them to the established animals.

• Keep it clean. Washing your hands, clothes and footwear thoroughly before and after working with animals and regularly cleaning and disinfecting your equipment is essential to preventing disease on any farm.

• Don’t bring in disease. Think twice before sharing equipment or supplies with neighbors. If you decide to share equipment with others, always clean and disinfect equipment before and after sharing. Disinfect boots, vehicles and other items after returning from another farm.

Recognize a sick animal. Early detection of unhealthy animals can help prevent the spread of the disease among your animals and in your community. It is always wise to consult with your local licensed veterinarian.

• Separate animals when needed. Separate animals that are new to your farm or that have been off the farm from animals that were already there. New or traveling animals may bring new diseases onto your farm. To prevent the spread of disease to an entire herd or flock, separate new and traveling animals from the rest. Take care of animals that have always been on the farm first to help stop the spread of disease.

These easy-to-follow, everyday practices will help reduce the spread of pathogens among animal communities and help keep 4-H projects safe from disease.

To learn more about Michigan 4-H Animal Science Programs, visit Michigan 4-H Animal Science page.

Source: MSU Extension

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